Fictional Short Story

Have you got a game, book or movie you'd like to make a story out of? Want to expand on a story or plot that stopped? Have an original idea for a story that you want to post somewhere? Here's where to do it. Basically an RPG where one player controls ALL characters in the story.

Fictional Short Story

Postby TyrannoTitan » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:42 am

First...I apologize for the crappy title.

Anyway, this is a short story I wrote for school, the first real writing assignment that gave actual freedom to the students, so I decided to make it a sort of horror story. Key words: a sort :P

Some of you may recognize that game this is based off of (Don't tell the teachers this isn't original >.>)

Side note: Who wants to bet I'll get in trouble for using the word "hellhole" once?

Footsteps. Dear Armok the footsteps. Normally, one would overlook such a thing, someone just passing by. When you are alone on an island, however, there is something very wrong about them. Needless to say, there shouldn't be any footsteps. Yet that is all that can be heard, throughout the entire night. Footfalls echoing in the darkness beyond this little shack he called home. This was not worth it. They weren't paying him enough to keep him on this forsaken speck of land.

It all started a few days ago....actually, it started years ago. The economy of the Kingdom was crumbling; with its mines growing thinner and thinner, the great dwarven Kingdom was beginning to collapse. With these hard times came desperate measures to fix the situation. Many operating mines were closed simply because they couldn't support the miners and other employees. This was the case with the Modan Mine: a supposed gold mine on an island, of all places. Miners recalled from their work by the cutbacks. Lucky for him, however, they decided to reopen the mine. Only one slight difference, however. They decided that rather then employ a crew of ten to thirteen miners, they would send one. One.

Economic genius at its best.

Unfortunately, he, Magni Cardwell, an average dwarf from the mining caste, couldn't refuse. They were willing to pay him for simply doing the work, rather then how much he collected, which was good enough for him. Dwarven society was built around the prospect of mining; without it, and the dwarves would be a poor and helpless people. He needed the money, but he also had a sense of pride for his profession. Had a sense of pride. He had arrived only a day ago, brought by a rickety old ship that surprised him with its ability to float. When he made landfall, he said his goodbyes to the surprisingly optimistic captain of the vessel, and headed inland to get accustomed to his new living quarters, carrying only his pickaxe, a sack with food, a torch, and a change of his ragged cloths. Not expecting much, he was delighted to find a somewhat roomy wooden cabin, only a few yards from the entrance to the mine, darkened even in the day. The cabin, while roomy to him, wouldn't have allowed thirteen dwarves to live comfortably with one another. For this, he was lucky he was alone. And that's where his luck ended.

After settling in, he decided to head down to the mine, which supposedly led deep into the island itself, and actually into the sea floor below. Simply: It was really, really deep. The mine itself was rather well kept, despite being abandoned. The torches had long since burnt out, but the wooden arches giving the tunnel support seemed sturdy enough. The distinct smell of the underground wafted toward him...a pleasant smell, for a dwarf. After inspecting the entrance to the mine, Magni thought it best to return to the cabin. Although day or night meant little when inside the mine, he was tired from his journey, and it would be dark soon. On his way back to the wooden haven, he stopped suddenly, listening hard. Footsteps. Slow and somewhat heavy, but footsteps none the less. As embarrassing as it was, he was scared. This was an abandoned island, which seemed even too small to support much animal life. Perhaps it had become a refuge for pirates or enemies of the Kingdom? He could feel himself growing anxious. Angry with himself that he didn't at least bring his pickaxe, he quickly grabbed a fallen branch and made his way toward the source of the noise.

Why didn't he just run, you ask? Back to the cabin? Because that's not what a dwarf is about! They are quite known for their stubborn and suicidal nature...this was a prime example.

Pushing past a large shrub, Magni finally spotted the culprit: a sheep, its wooly hide overgrown and untamed, grazing lazily on some tall grass. Feeling stupid for his actions, he dropped his makeshift weapon and turned away...then stopped, finally realizing what he just saw. A sheep? On a semi-tropical island? Did the miners bring the sheep during their original visit, maybe to try and feed themselves, rather then sending away for supplies? He really couldn't answer...something he would definitely ask about when the supply ship arrived. Walking, still in thought, back to the cabin, he settled down in one of the cots scattered around the shack, and quickly found himself falling asleep.

His eyes shot open.

This was the beginning...oh dear Armok this was only the beginning! He could heard it sounded like it was on all sides of the cabin. Footsteps, some light, others heavy, moving almost lazily around the wooden construct. When he had encountered the only other living soul on the island, the sheep, it was completely alone. It was silly to think that the creature was without companions...but surely he would've seen this many during his walk, or at least signs of them. These steps...they walked with purpose. It was not the leisurely pace of the sheep he saw before. No...No, this was much different. Rising quickly to a sitting position, the dwarf glanced around the cottage swiftly, as if expecting some convict to have been waiting in the shadows to attack.

Nothing. The footfalls were still echoing around him, but the cabin was devoid of life, as he had left it. What were they doing? Surely if these were traitor dwarves of the Kingdom, they would've breached the structure by now, and dealt with him already. It seemed as if whatever was outside didn't even notice. Maybe it was an animal, or a herd...his logical thinking put him at ease. How stupid of him to get worked up over nothing. Rising from the cot, Magni made a tentative step toward his equipment, which was lying on a bed nearby. After confirming that the entities outside did not seem to stop or change motion, he made his way over to the supplies, grabbing the unlit torch from his bag. He would scare those noisy beasts away...he had work to do in the morning, and they were keeping him awake.

Lighting the torch with a strike of flint and tinder, Magni made his way past the cots toward the door of the cabin, hoping that at least they wouldn't be blocking the door. Opening it, he found to his delight that there was no resistance...but at the same time, heard one of the footsteps stop, to his right. Turning, the dwarf looked toward its source...his eyes grew wide, his mouth falling open.

What stood before him was not an animal. It was not a dwarf, nor a human, nor an elf. It stood on four stumpy legs, which rose upward into an almost blocky body, lacking any sort of arms. Its body was mostly devoid of noticeable features: it was covered from head to...stump in what looked like grass, its entire body appearing to be a light green, like the grass on and around it. On its face...that horrible stare. Two black orbs seemed to be its eyes, and just below them was a twisted frown, which didn't seem to move, quiver, or change in any way. It had an almost pitiful look on it, as if it too was scared. And then came the noise; A horrible, almost deafening noise that drowned out all the sounds around him, sounding almost like a lit fuse.


Finally snapping out of his shock, Magni pushed himself back inside; slamming the door shut behind him and, in the process, stumbled to the floor, barely managing to hold onto the torch. Crawling madly away, he turned back toward the door, expecting the monstrosity to barge in at any moment. The hissing sound stopped. Everything was silent for a moment, excluding those bloody footsteps. Then, he could hear the...whatever it was, walking again. It seemed to be oblivious of his presence again. He couldn't believe it. Dear Armok he could not believe it.

And now, here he sat, on the cot he had been sleeping on, torch in one hand, pickaxe held tightly in the other, staring fearfully at the door on the opposite side of the room. He dare not go to sleep. Armok knows how many of those...those things were out there! He would stay up...yes...all night. The supply ship should be arriving in the morning to bring him his provisions for the week. He prayed that the crew would not be scared off by these monstrosities...they couldn't leave him here.

Time passed. How long, he wasn't sure. It seemed like days, though he knew that it was not even morning yet. The cabin lacked any sort of windows...he was actually thankful for that. The footsteps did not cease. The one that had been practically at his doorstep had seemingly merged with the rest, wandering off into parts unknown. He dare not make another attempt to go outside...though curiosity was eating away at him. The creature did not attack, as horrifying as it was. Who knows what it wanted? Perhaps sleep deprivation was making him desperate. Deciding to try and find a way to look outside, Magni got to his feet and made his way to the end of the cabin. Feeling around on the wooden wall, he was looking for a loose board in the flimsy complex, something he could break off or pull back and reveal the outside. Finding a slightly misplaced board, he used his pickaxe to pry a piece of the board off, cracking it loudly.

Pulling the pickaxe out, he backed swiftly away from the hole, which was only a few inches in size, fearing that the noise would alert the monsters. Nothing. The footsteps continued as they had done the entire night. Breathing out heavily, he moved back toward the hole, placing the torch in a holster on one of the nearby walls, and rested his pickaxe against the wall itself. Peering through with both hands pressed against the wood, he could see only darkness...a few shrubs and trees were visible, thanks to the moonlight. But none of the creatures appeared to be on this si-

He heard it before he saw it. A loud thwack nearly made him jump out of his skin, an arrow sinking into the wood only a few inches from the hole. Not yet realizing the danger, he immediately looked toward the source of the sound. He only saw a humanoid shape, bone white, staring back at him. By then, he was already launching himself from the hole, landing with a hard thud onto the floor, arms covering his head. He stayed in this horrified state for minutes, fearing another attack. None came. The footsteps on that side of the complex resumed, only again becoming completely oblivious to his presence. He began to laugh, finally falling into a sitting position. Had he gone mad? These...monsters didn't think twice about him after showing themselves. It made no sense. Had he gone mad? Didn't he ask that already? It suddenly became hard for him to think...

His eyes opened. Light was streaming into the hole in the wall. Then it hit him. Dear Armok he fell asleep! Those things could've killed him in his sleep...or he could've missed the ship!

The ship!

He jumped to his stout feet, pickaxe once again in hand. The torch on the wall had already burnt itself out...he wouldn't have cared if the cabin burned to the ground anyway. Stopping in front of the door for a moment, Magni began to prepare himself for the horrors outside. Throwing the door open, he charged out with a scream worthy of a dwarf warrior, only to smash his pickaxe into the trunk of a tree. Looking around, he saw that he was alone. Listening hard, he couldn't hear any footsteps...the island was completely silent. Had the night before been a delusion? Just a sick nightmare brought on by his tiring journey here? He wanted answers.

Heading to the part of the wall where he had opened the hole, he actually found the opening. Proof enough that he didn't dream it all up? He wasn't sure. Then he looked for the was gone. His heart sank. He really was insane. Examining the area for a moment, Magni suddenly became wide eyed. Next to the hole was a clean cut puncture mark. Part of him was happy...he wasn't crazy. But then he realized what this meant. Those...things were still around.

"Dear Armok..."

"Magni? Magni...are you ok?"

He wheeled around, pickaxe held tightly in his grasp. Another, scrawnier dwarf stood before him, in similarly ragged clothing and possessing a long grayish beard, arms raised as if expecting a strike from the mining instrument. "Magni...calm down...we're here with supplies, remember? What in the name of Armok happened to you?"

He found himself overjoyed...but at the same time, couldn't respond. Not now. They would think he was a madman...they might even leave him here. He couldn't risk it.

"I'm...uh...fine. I need to come back to the mainland. This mine's got toxic fumes...almost...almost passed out last night."

The other dwarf stared for a moment, then nodded, caution still apparent in his gaze. Magni knew there would be questions later. He didn't care. He needed off this forsaken piece of dirt. He would make sure that no one else was subjected to the horrors that he experienced here.

Climbing onto the rickety vessel, not unlike the one he had arrived on, after the dwarf, who had stopped his companions from unloading the supplies, and instead brought a few of Magni's possessions on board, the dwarf himself sat down on the top deck. He watched as the island was slowly sent further and further away...never...never had he been so glad to be at see that hellhole disappear on the horizon.

Re: Fictional Short Story

Postby Iceking » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:37 pm

I'm very impressed with this, TT. I give you praise on how you fleshed out character and at the same time, kept his past vague.
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