A short story by Remontz.
At long last the writer finally worked up enough energy to climb up into the dusty attic and retrieve the antiquated typewriter. A gift given to him quite a few years back by his brother; it had only been used once, to type out the “thank you”-letter. Now with three weeks of retirement under his belt — the responsibilities of clocking in and out, now, forever in the past — the writer, given his age, felt that it was now or never. To grab hold of his dream of creating a world, defining an adventure, exploring the deep, deep crevacis of imagination — to paint pictures with words.
He struggled out of the attic, collapsing with the typewriter onto his desk with loud THUD. He rested for a moment, arms crossed atop the tool of writing…thinking of all the dreams he’d been having and how to shape them into pages. Pages into chapters. Chapters into…Inspiration snapped his daydreaming away just as suddenly as it had come. He pulled the wheeled chair beneath himself and slumped down into it. His wrinkled hands, with its’ graying hairs, began to work on setting up the typewriter.
He stared at the blank stationery before him. Unsure and quite lost. But determined. He knew exactly how he wanted the tale to begin — with action, with the hero being the hero from the start — he just didn’t know the words to begin it with. His aged hands trembled over the keys. He leaned back, away from the empty page. The writer pulled open the drawer of the desk and prepared his pipe. He inhaled a deep, cough inducing, lungful and waited. Exhale.
As a wave rushes towards the shore with the surprising force and energy of nature, so did his hands begin to type. For hours he typed, until….inevitably…he was stuck: “….The Knight’s sword clanged as it fell to the marble floor. His eyes enlarged, his senses diminishing, his heart broken. The eyes of his once lover, now murderer were all he saw now. Confused. Betrayed. Outwitted?…..”
The writer fell out of his chair in shock, the chair unable to keep balance either joined him on the hardwood.
“Perhaps confused and betrayed were enough, no?” The Knight offered an armor plated hand.
The writer rubbed his eyes, perhaps he could shake them out of the lie they were showing him. “I must be dreaming…”
“No. I can assure you are not my friend.” The Knight said as he hooked an arm into the old man’s arm pit, helping him to his feet. He lifted the frail writer with such ease and placed him back into the chair as if he were a child’s doll. “Now…perhaps we could change that bit. I’d hate to die this way, no?”
“What is this?”
“This…this is a tragedy. I am not the hero?”
“I don’t know…”
“You don’t know?!?!” The Knight threw his hands up, “How could I not be? Look at me!” The Knight stood triumphantly, striking a pose.
“Well I…I suppose you are a hero of sorts.”
“That’s it. So how bouts we just change this a little…” the Knight leaned over the writer, about to strike the keys, when a strange, luminescent, stringy substance landed on his wrist. “Aww shi—“. The substance gripped the Knight’s wrist like a tightened lasso and he was yanked up to the ceiling.
“There’ll be enough of that.” The melodic voice of the Elven Princess echoed throughout the Writer’s office room. She tapped playfully at the Knights boots, dodging his fitful kicks as he hung from the ceiling by his wrist. “It wouldn’t be right for anyone but I to help. Isn’t that so?” She looked at the Writer with big, beautiful violet eyes.
He stammered, still unable to make sense of what was happening.
“Let me down this instant!” The Knight ordered.
Ignoring his pleas the elf strolled over to the Writer and placed a soft, warming hand to his cheek and kissed him lightly on the forehead. She repositioned his chair and the writer felt his hands move towards the typewriter keys. Motivation had been set in motion and he began to peg away. Putting words to the page.
“No!! Don’t let her confuse you!! Let me down now!” The Knight continued to kick and squirm. Throwing a tantrum as he dangled just over their heads.
The elf positioned herself behind the Writer, crossing her arms across his chest and he could feel her weight against the back of the chair. She twisted and curled his beard between her elven fingers. “Oh…” she shrieked, forcing him to stop typing with a slight yank on a single strand of his long, gray chin hair. “So much violence…would a dash of romance be so bad?”
“I suppose not…no it wouldn’t…”. He turned to look into her deep purple eyes once more. The speeding, metallic projectile crossed his vision as he did so. The arrow stuck into the desk with such force that wood chips and splinters flew into the air.
“T’Shai No!!!” The Knight yelled out as an Orc sprinted from the shadowy corner of the office.
“AAAAAGHH” she brought her sword down at the elf. Sparks flew as the elf blocked the attack using her forearm bracers. Unable to land a fatal strike, the Orc, with sheer strength rained down blows onto the elf’s blocking wrist. Forcing the beautiful being to her knees in defense. The attacker grunted and yelled words betweeen each blow, “VIOLENCE….IS….THE…..LANGUAGE…..OF…..THE….VICTORS!!!”. With her dark-green bare Orc foot she kicked the elf and sent her sliding into the Writer’s desk. He reacted quickly to keep the typewriter from falling to the floor.
The elf jumped up to her feet with a stern expression. Her hands glowed a myriad of colors, flowing with magic energy. She rushed forward with a beam of light erupting from her palms and struck the Orc in the chest. The Orc was lifted off the ground and into the Knight; knocking him free.
The elf seemed to be levitating as she charged after the Orc once more. The light surging from her hands began to take the shape of a sword. The two combatants met with sharp clang of weapon on weapon. Slashing and striking at one another faster than the Writer’s eyes could keep up with; surprisingly they only managed to strike each other’s defenses or failed to land anything at all. Near miss after near miss, they battled. With every contact the light sourced blade grew brighter. The Knight stood by, his own sword drawn, but he was too paralyzed to move. It was obvious his hesitation rested on the inability to choose an allegiance.
“Enough!!!” A strong voice broke up the brawl instantly. The two warrior women both took to a knee and looked towards the Writer’s direction. He turned to look also. Inches from his face and straddling the typewriter, atop his desk were the olive, slightly scale armored shins of yet another Orc. His eyes searched up slowly. The Orc Woman smelled of fear and respect. With one graceful leap she went from the desk to the opposite side of the room where the two kneelers waited. “Rise.” She commanded them after sheathing both of her blades.
The Elf and first Orc Woman did as she said, their weapons hanging limp at their sides. There were no words exchanged between the three of them, only eye contact. The elf’s magical sword dissipated. With that the respected Orc turned to the writer, “Go on. Back to your duty. Tell our story, reveal our legends…”
The Writer snapped awake. He was laying on the attic floor, he looked to his right and saw the typewriter that had fallen from the dusty shelf and onto his head. He felt the huge knot on his forehead. No blood. That was good. Right?
He took a few minutes to collect himself before struggling down the attic stairs with the typewriter.
He started to set it up immediately, he felt the rush and inspiration of writing an epic tale of a Warrior Orc Woman. He knew exactly how he would start the story, she would be a leader and fierce fighter. A champion of champions. Yes, he’d make her a character that would defy all odds and bring together warring nations with a compassionate heart that was just as fierce as her blades.
As he finished setting up the antique typewriter he noticed a folded piece of stationery stuck between the keys. He didn’t remember leaving it there. Written on the top fold was: “to The Writer.” He unfolded it quickly….
It was a simple message, not long at all. Composed of only two sentences; it read: “Do not forget. I am the hero of the story!” Signed, “the Knight”.
Read the next addition to this series, “Writer’s Block: Living with the Shadow”, next ⏭ http://storiesbydude.com/2020/08/28/writers-block-living-with-the-shadow/
Copyright © 2020 Kacy Gilbert (Writing as Remontz)
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