Friday, November 21, 2008

Into the Den

So sometimes when I'm not on one of the millions of dates I go on every weekend I find time to write a little bit of fiction. Here is a snippet. I've hidden the last paragraph so you don't accidently read it before you've read the rest. Just drag your cursor to highlight it and you can read it.

Escape Attempt # 15

Arthur climbed down the darkened pathway, careful to watch his footing on the slick surface. His foot crush the carcasses of grotesque insects that had undoubtedly lay there for years. Clumps of dust scattered as he rounded the corner. He had finally found it; the den. Whose den didn’t matter; what mattered was that he was here now. He quickly surveyed the scene seeking the prize. In one corner was a repository of knowledge; enough knowledge that it would take him weeks to skim through it all. There were several tables, littered with items of little significance to him. Mere distractions. Tucked under a low overhang he found enough food to last him several seasons. One entire wall in the den; just over a puddle of stagnant water, glowed with an intense light. It cast disconcerting shadows across the intricate random patterns of the roof of the den. Through this portal Arthur saw vast worlds. It was his escape. His escape from the unjust treatment he had endured for years. The days spent bent over slaving away in the field, weeding the master’s crops; moving the master’s piles of stone and wood; for no apparent reason; his escape from the hours spent cleaning the defecations of the other inhabitants unwilling to relieve themselves in the basin.

Finally Arthur would escape. He only needed to find the artifact. He had spent hours of his free time studying it, so he would know how to wield it when the time came. Days spent reading the accounts of others who had the blessing of finding such a artifact, for there were more than one. Some treated it with derision, claiming to have even greater power; those accounts Arthur scrolled past quickly, looking for those who saw the artifact for what it was; an escape from the world of endless toil and labor with strange taskmasters. Taskmasters whose language Arthur barely understood.

The thought of his taskmasters made Arthur quicken his search. At any moment they would notice he was gone from the pile of masonry he had been scraping the old mortar off of. Soon they would call for him; would they know he had gone into the den? What terror awaited Arthur if they did find him. The punishment would be most severe and of coarse they would know where he was. With almost omniscient knowledge, they always knew where to find him. How many times had he been stopped on the slippery path down to the den? How many times had he been caught just before he rounded the corner? Each time the punishment double from the time previous. If he were caught this time, the punishment would be too great to bear.

Finally he found it, the artifact was resting on a leather cushion; almost in a place of honor. Its brilliant white shell encasing the most powerful controlling device known to man. He hefted it. Its lightness surprised him. He surveyed the blunt ends with the markings al down one side. The sign of the cross, the symbol of home, good and evil on opposite sides, and symbols representing one and two. From his studying Arthur new how to activate it. He found the symbol representing Power, and gently pushed it. Blue light flooded the den briefly; then subsided. The brilliant white portal that took up an entire wall sprang to life. Through it Arthur was taken to another world. Suddenly a knight approached him, a dark, evil knight. Wielding the artifact as a sword Arthur engaged in mortal combat with the villain. The contest went on for what seemed ages. Arthur swinging his sword, and blocking the dark knights blows. Finally the knight was knocked to the ground. Arthur stood, ready to deliver the final blow; when he heard a familiar sound; from that other world he had just left. The sound of the large glass door, which guarded the entrance to the den slowly opening. His heart pounded; would he be able to vanquish the knight in time or would the harsh taskmaster remove his power and destroy his work. He heard the taskmaster descending the slick steps down to the den. Arthur feverously swung his arm trying to kill the knight. He was almost too late. As the taskmaster entered the den the darkness suddenly gave way to light ripping him back to the harsh reality he had always known. The knight was not quite vanquished, he had failed, darkness would soon rule two worlds.

Arthur turned to face his taskmaster unashamed of what he had done. He would bear his punishment with honor, giving them no satisfaction as they inflicted their wrath.

“Are you really playing Nintendo while the rest of the family cleans bricks for the patio. I swear Arthur you’ll never amount to a hill of beans if you don’t learn to work; “ decreed the creature.

Arthur nodded slowly not fully understanding what was being said, but somehow he knew it meant back to slavery.

3 comments:

Nic said...

What a traumatic childhood we've had.

Tagg said...

The way you're first describing the den I thought you were talking about the pit at my house. It was all making sense; the amount of bugs, the dirtyness, and the pool of stagnant water. Made perfect sense to me.
And I just remember that the TV at our place could never be totally silenced, so it placed tension everytime we played it on a sunday.

Mike said...

I like it.