So, I’m an avid follower of Chuck Wendig. He cracks me up and he helps make writing make sense (which is amazing given how f*cking crazy he is). Anyways, so each week he does a flash fiction challenge, check this weeks out here, and I’ve decided to stop being lazy and write one. So, I did.
‘Nuff said. Read it now! And tell me you like it, or hate it, I don’t care. But tell me something! XD
The gravel crunched underneath the weight of his armored body.
His eyes snapped open and he found himself looking up into a blood red sky that glared angrily through clouds of smoke. He pushed himself up and looked out upon a hellish landscape that was little more than jagged, obsidian stone with rivers of fire running through it.
Where in Their great creation am I?
Last thing he remembered was fighting his way across the battlefield. His orders had been simple. Get to the enemy captain, and take him down. Without his leadership, their troops would break ranks and flee, leaving the way clear. He remembered having the captain in his sights, remembered barreling down on the man. Then there was nothing. Nothing save for black stone and fire.
Did I die?
He rose from his seat and grabbed his sword that was lying next to him. It was a giant, bastard of a sword that gleamed viciously against the fires. He strapped it on his back, wrapped himself in the black folds of his cloak. He decided that any direction was as good as another, so he picked one and began walking.
After proceeding forward for an indeterminable amount of time found himself sweating profusely from the heat of the nearest fire river, and his breath became short. He leaned against a large shard of rock and rested in its shadow. He quickly gasped in pain though and wretched back out of the shadow. Looking down at his armored hands he found the steel covered in frost.
So it’s either the heat of the light or the ice of the shadows. Wonderful.
He had little time to consider his predicament though, because he heard something creeping up behind him. He spun around and drew his sword in a single fluid movement and brought it to bare before him. But was brought up short by the sight of the creature standing before him.
It was little more than a girl. But this was no normal girl. Sure, she wore a simple dress, and her hair was tied back cute pigtails, but there was something else to her. There was something in the sharp angle of her smirk, and there was even more in the eyes that stared at him hungrily. Then she spoke and the words that came out in her cute little voice chilled him to the bone.
-Welcome to hell, Nellaf.-
“What do you want, demon? Why am I here?”
It was questions he asked, but there was no masking the snarls that threw them out like demands.
-Oh, that is simple. You are here for my amusement. You are here because you were brought low by the very violence that you lived your life by, and now you will serve me for an eternity with that very violence. You see the lord, whom commanded the armies of you and your savage men, made a pact with me. I saved his worthless hide and in turn… he gave me you.-
“Like hell,” he snarled, before launching himself at the demon girl with a violent swing of his sword, but it passed through nothing but empty space, and her voice floated down at him from atop the rock.
-‘Like hell’. How fitting. But worry not, that arrogance and anger will serve you well here in my games. Have fun!-
She jumped down from the rock and ran off amidst the rocky crags. Nellaf followed her, intent on venting his anger on her tiny body. He ran on and on for what seemed forever, always her voice just around the bend in the rocky terrain or she’d appear just on the other side of one of the flaming riverbeds, until he found himself staring at pool of fire like the large ponds he used to fish in during his childhood.
She was nowhere to be seen but still her voice spoke to him.
-Welcome to Flamegulch, the home of one of my most fearsome followers. Please do give my regards to Baelrok, won’t you?-
He screamed at her and cursed her violently, but she either didn’t hear him or she ignored him. He cursed her once more and turned to walk away. He had taken but a few steps when the fires and lava in the pool erupted and a massive hand reached up out of the pool and grabbed onto the molten shore.
Nellaf turned back around and watched as a giant horned demon began to drag itself out of the fiery depths. He watched as it rose foot by horrifying foot, until it stood fully on two clawed feet. The beast was at least twice the size of him. The lava ran off of its body like rain, but still the monster’s black body seemed to glow with its own inner hellfire. Nellaf’s horror turned to dread when the monster’s eyes snapped open glared at him with burning rage.
-You dare wake my slumber, little swordsman? Perhaps you’d care to battle a real warrior?-
Something in the monster’s challenge stirred up Nellaf’s pride, but something else. He felt his own battle lust rise up.
You’re really thinking of fighting him?
“Sure, why not, you big brute. Let’s see what you’ve got,” he replied to himself and the demon.
The demon let out a violent laugh before it lunged.
For minutes the demon stalked the man, always forcing him to keep moving in order to avoid being ripped apart, yet no swing of his sword could render the beast’s encrusted hide, and Nellaf was forced to retreat into the crags. Baelrok gave chase.
-Give it up, pathetic human! This is a fight you won’t win.-
Nellaf watched as the demon came around a bend in the rocks and as it stepped into the shadows of the crags the glow of its fiery carapace began to diminish under a coat of ice.
Nellaf charged forward, swinging his great blade at the monster’s freezing legs, and the sound of shattering ice rent the air and the beast fell to the ground and the rest of it began to turn to ice.
“Goodbye, Baelrok,” Nelaf snarled as he sent his sword plunging into the beast’s chest.
Fire erupted violently and engulfed his sword and his right arm. Instead of burning pain though, he felt only power surging into him.
The flames died down, but his arm and sword continued to glow with demonic fire.
-Well done, Nellaf. I knew you would make the perfect entertainment.-
“Silence, demon girl. Just lead me to the next challenge.”
The girl let out a sinister little giggle as Nellaf turned and regarded her with eyes burning red with smoldering anger.