Story competition 8

Submission deadline: October 9, 2011
Voting deadline: October 16, 2011

Write a story containing the following words and phrases: blade, aster, he lost his gumption, furball, baubles, last man standing, wanderlust, angel's graveyard, debacle, flatulent boar, the graybeard picked up his heels and danced.


Contest Winner:

No story wins this competition: two of the stories tied.

Story competition 8 submissions

A Hero's Dilemma

Damien 09/10/2011
The graybeard picked up his heels and danced among the asters. It had all looked like it would turn out so much different back when he lost his gumption, but a few months in a rehab facility had taught him that he still had plenty to live for. A visit to the angel’s graveyard to speak to his father had also helped, although he still had issues with the fact that his dad was proud of his career as a gravedigger.

Still, as time had gone by he had gotten his gumption back and had agreed to go on a quest for the Princess to look for the infamous Blade of the Flatulent Boar which had apparently been lost in the debacle of the Battle of Baubles.

And now here he was, a year later, the last man standing, with only a furball for company and the Blade in his hand. He knew that what he should really do is go home and present the trophy to the Princess to achieve his reward of unknown riches, but he was experiencing a small problem.

The quest he had embarked upon had awakened a wanderlust in him that he had never previously imagined, and now he was torn between going home and claiming his reward or just saying ‘fuck it’ and going on to explore new lands.

After careful deliberation, however, it occurred to him that there was nothing to prevent him from going home to claim his reward and then saying ‘fuck it’ and going on to explore new lands. In fact, the latter would be much simpler if he did the former as he was not exactly over-endowed with riches at the moment, and so, reluctant as he was to return home, he did exactly that before embarking on a series of adventures throughout all of the known multi-verses!

Re: A Hero's Dilemma

nick clarke 14/10/2011
It's short but sweet. I vote with me feet!

Re: A Hero's Dilemma

Sonya Lano 15/10/2011
VOTE - because the Blade of the Flatulent Boar made me laugh out loud :-)

Aster's Fall

Sonya Lano 09/10/2011
Standing dead center in the middle of the angel’s graveyard, with the blade pricking his throat about to sink into flesh, Aster couldn’t help but think of the irony of it all.
As if his life hadn’t started ignominiously enough with his mum naming him after a flower, then continued in a similar vein when his father had sold him into the demon king’s service, now he was going to die because he lost his gumption and failed to kill the angel lord’s daughter when he had the chance.
He had been so close to getting her wings. Neither she nor her guard had stood a chance against his prowess in battle; one by one, they had all fallen under his sword, their wings sliced from their bodies and flung into the abyss for the demon king to collect and reward to his loyal servants. They had all fallen, even her. As her staff had spun from her grip, she’d tumbled to the ground, head bowed in defeat.
He’d raised his weapon high, its steel edge flashing in the sunlight, ready to sever those beautiful white feathers and cut her thread of life…and then she had looked up.
For an instant he’d lost all sense of time or place, staring into entrancing violet eyes, unable to tear his gaze away from her trembling lips or her long, shimmering white hair. The sight had rendered him powerless.
So he had lowered his sword.
Stupid, stupid, stupid!
They’d seized him from behind and pressed the blade to his throat while the angel’s daughter had climbed trembling to her feet to stare at him, as dazed by his mercy as he had been by her look.
And so here he stood, the last man standing of the entire 500-strong demon army sent to raid the angel’s city to kill as many as they could and steal their wings, and he was going to die simply because he’d had a pang of conscience.
And there was no one left to save him.
“Stop this debacle!”
The blade digging into his neck froze. A trickle of blood…or sweat…slid down his throat. He could just turn his head enough to see the demon king come hobbling into the courtyard with his spiked black cane.
An ancient, stooped man with a dark gray beard hanging down to his knees and a receding hairline, the demon king hardly presented an impressive sight, but then again, he’d been around for ages and no one could expect him to remain young and horned forever. The horns had actually been the first to go, hacked off in his sleep at some point in his younger years by some deluded lover of his who had believed she could reform him. He’d rid himself of her quick enough after that.
He shuffled between the gravestones, the angels backing away in fear. No mere angel dared touch the demon king or he risked eternal damnation. Only the angel lord could touch him and survive unscathed.
“What are you doing here?” the angel lord asked in a commanding voice, his own face lined with age but yet retaining an ethereal, harsh beauty.
“What do you think? Just got me a touch of wanderlust and decided to drop in to see how the heavenly host is doing,” the crotchety old demon snapped irritably as he approached.
“You’re not welcome here. We are not a vacation resort,” the angel enunciated condescendingly.
“I was being sarcastic, you dolt!” the old man banged his cane on a gravestone angrily and irreverently as he came to a halt directly before the angel lord. “Do you have baubles rattling around in that fancy head of yours instead of a brain?” The graybeard pointed a gnarled finger at Aster. “I come for him. He may be ornery and foul as a flatulent boar, but he spared your daughter.”
The angel king glanced at the girl in question, and as Aster’s eyes unwillingly slid toward her, too, he was shaken when he found himself staring straight into those violet eyes…again. She seemed confused and uncertain, studying him as if he were a riddle she couldn’t solve, and he knew that if he’d had the moment to do over again, he still wouldn’t have been able to kill her.
“His life is not worth hers. This is not a worthy trade,” the angel lord intoned.
“Oh, go choke on a furball with that superiority of yours,” the demon king growled. “We both know we share the same mother. Just give me my slave back and let’s call it even. You’ve already killed the other 499.”
The angel lord’s face hardened and he lifted his chin, his tone icy as he pronounced, “He will die.” He half turned, his arm already poised to make the gesture ordering Aster’s death, when a small white hand on his wrist halted him.
“Spare him, father,” the angel’s daughter requested softly, smiling gently up into his uncompromising face.
That smile was a like a hook in Aster’s entrails, ensnaring him, binding him to her.
The angel lord looked at her for a long while, then a spasm of pain crossed his features and he lowered his hand.
“Release him.”
The weight of the blade vanished and Aster was shoved forward.
The demon king grabbed his wrist, and as the abyss opened under his feet, he raised his cane and hurled it at the angel lord’s daughter. It whipped around her wrist and, amid the shouts and screams of the other angels, dragged her behind the demon king and Aster into the chasm.
All three of them landed in the center of the shadow domain.
The demon king gave a tug and the black cane instantly released the angel’s daughter. She stood paralyzed, shocked and stunned, her white hair shining brightly in the gloomy realm. Aster stood motionless at her side, just as astounded.
The demon king set the tip of his cane against her back and pushed her into Aster’s arms.
“Go on and kiss her, slave,” he invited grandly as Aster caught her, then he threw back his non-horned head in a properly diabolical laugh. “Whoever said demons can’t believe in true love!” he crowed, and twisting his beard and rolling his demonic eyes, the graybeard picked up his heels and danced.

Re: Aster's Fall

Prester 10/10/2011

Re: Aster's Fall

Anneke 16/10/2011
VOTE - Always love a bit of high fantasy

Re: Aster's Fall

Damien 16/10/2011
I like this to an extent, but it's a little too cheesily romantic, even by the usual Sonya standards, for me to vote for it unfortunately :-(

But at least it's not a 500 page novel like you're entry for the other contest :-p

Re: Untitled

Damien 28/09/2011
I will almost certainly write a longer entry to this contest, but the words and phrases chosen this time round made it too easy to do something quick and easy!

That being said, if I could be bothered logging into the site and editing it, the second paragraph would look much better if it read;

He suddenly felt a strange pressure on his chest and woke up with a start to find his furball of a cat had jumped on him and caused a rude awakening. What a strange dream that had been. Damn home-brew Slivovice!

Re: Re: Untitled

Damien 28/09/2011
Damn that home brew slivovice. Is what the last comment should have read! Unlimited internet for 24 hours costs 5 Euros in my Barcelona hostel. I intend to make the most of it! :-)

Re: Re: Re: Untitled

Sonya Lano 28/09/2011
Were you getting into our slivovice while watching our cats? :oP

Re: Re: Re: Re: Untitled

Damien 28/09/2011
I wrote this on a plane and can honestly say I did not touch even one drop of your slivovice while you've been away. Although I did have a ridiculous amount of vodka, slivovice, hruskovice, and a few other things in my fridge yesterday and I don't know what might still be there!

Re: Re: Untitled

Sonya Lano 28/09/2011
Yes, I suspected you would write a longer entry considering you say you like the challenge!

Re: Re: Re: Untitled

Damien 28/09/2011
In fairness though, I think it stands alone as a pretty decent story :-p

Re: Untitled

nick clarke 14/10/2011
Torn now.,,

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