EXERCISE I'll take it from here #4

Discussion in 'INSPIRING MUSES' started by Kitti, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. The first sentence of a story can reel in the reader as they wonder what it means, what will happen next, or how it will tie in to the rest of the story. It can also be one of the hardest lines to write because it all begins with that first sentence.

    Well, you're in luck! The purpose of this challenge is to see what you do with the rest of the story when the first sentence is provided. Use the sentence given as the first line of your story and see where it takes you from there.

    First sentence:
    This story actually began years ago, in the first winter without snow that the town had ever seen, but nobody knew it then.
    • Love Love x 1
  2. This story actually began years ago, in the first winter without snow that the town had ever seen, but nobody knew it then.

    The old-timers always said that the Old Ways had been dying, and without the regular tributes put on the grave of Albedo, we would be subject to his wrath. For years, I think, people had put flowers, milk, and rice on his grave, but I guess that year, not a single person had. The last of the old guard had died, and no one was left.

    And Albedo apparently was not at all happy about that.

    The area began to dry up. The snows stopped coming. The rivers began to run dry as the snows no longer melted to fill them. The rains gradually stopped coming in. I remember my mother frantically pleading before Albedo's grave, trying to convince him to bring the water back, or else her crops would die, and we would starve that year. He didn't listen.

    For years, the trees began to die out, the place becoming as brittle as aged bone. And I started to become curious. I tried to find out why Albedo's grave was important, what it could have to do with the weather, and simply put, no one knew. My suspicions started then.

    We weren't dealing with a ghost. We were dealing with something else.

    I took a trip to Albedo's grave, and I set up camp, along with food. No one had ever tried to stand vigil over the place, and I wondered if perhaps I could get a glimpse of whatever it was that we had angered. We didn't have the money to hire a witcher, so I would have to do. Stupid, young, foolish me. I had no idea what I was in for.

    It was something I later learned was called a dockhaint, a trickster spirit. Had I not armed myself with my father's iron hoe, I would have been in for more than just a beating. I asked it what I needed to do to get the rains to come back, and it answered that it demanded tribute, but this time even more, to make up for the lean years he had had without our tribute. I didn't believe it needed it.

    I struck the grave with the hoe on accident, and it hissed. Realizing what I had done, I began to dig with the hoe, and the dockhaint pleaded not to free the bones of Albedo, a holy man who had managed to bind the spirit to these mountains and provide harvest. The dockhaint, realizing that word had died down of Albedo, demanded tribute in Albedo's name, regardless of the fact he could still call down rain anyways.

    I threatened to expose his bones, and the dockhaint agreed to bring back the rains. I made the stipulation that no harmful rains were necessary, no floods or blizzards, and the dockhaint acquiesced to my commands. Satisfied, I said I would tend to the dockhaint myself, and that he would no longer threaten the people of the village.

    So, every year, when I come back from a voyage, I go to the grave of Albedo to leave behind a bowl of rice, a glass of milk, some butter cookies, and a book. And if that didn't help - well, I always have Dad's trusty iron hoe.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. This story actually began year ago, in the first winter without snow the town had ever seen, but no one knew it then.

    The change had been sudden, and most were happy to not have to shovel a path to the woodpile. No one seemed to mind the absence of the snow, except for great grandpa. He kept looking to sky with a worried look on his face, and spoke of an ancient warning of evil and sorcery. Sadly, no one paid him any mind. They enjoyed their reprieve from the extra work and bitter cold.

    As the years passed and the snows never came, people began to even forget what those winters were like, and grew lazy and neglectful. great grandpa passed away on the first day of winter in the fifth year without snow. I was the only one who attended his memorial.

    To my surprise he'd left his home and all his possessions to me, though I felt we were not as close as he would have liked. once I entered the modest cabin I noticed an envelope on the table. I flipped it over and saw my name written in scraggly letters. I opened it and unfolded the paper within.

    My dear great grandson,

    I can feel my time drawing to an end, and I feel sure no one else will heed my warning but you. Please, I am placing the lives of the people of our town in your hands. Do not fail me or them.

    Everything you need is in the other room. Be vigilant, be strong and do not fear her fury. You have the weapon that can and will defeat her.

    May the Spirits bless you.

    I read the letter a second time and was even more confused. I looked around the small cabin and saw only one other door. I crossed to it and opened it and realizing there were no windows I went back to the table to get the candlestick and bring some light there with me. In the center of the room was a wooden pedestal with a large box atop it. As I neared I could see what appeared to be seven gleaming arrows. They gave off an odd kind of spark as I moved closer, and when I reached out to touch one I felt a jolt and withdrew my hand in pain. The walls were covered in carved images, and though they were old i could see them and somehow understand them. Hanging on the far wall opposite the door was the bow. it was large and had that same glowing spark that the arrows had. But it also had a leather grip and below it hung gloves and an arm guard.

    I spent days in that room, reading all the carved messages and warnings. He had been right about the absence of winter being the first sign of the coming evil one. And seeing the images portrayed of what happened if no protector remained were horrifying. I now understood why great grandfather had been so watchful and concerned, and why he had chosen me as well.

    Of all my family, I am the only one who keeps to the old ways. I still prefer the bow for hunting, for its stealth. I still walk almost everywhere and am strong and have a good eye and aim with the bow. Since it is the only weapon that can destroy the evil one. I can see why I would be the logical choice to take his place. Still, was I capable? Would I be able to keep the people and the valley safe when the time came? Three winter's time was all I had to prepare.

    Like my great grandfather I began warning the people to go back to the old ways, and strengthen themselves for battle. The people ignored me as they had him. The first two winters passed and the winter of her coming arrived. Every day i watched the skies, and the forest for the signs. Finally the leaves turned white and the sky gray, and she strode into the town and demanded they serve her or die.

    The people, being weak and fearful, were easy to subdue. He had expected them to fall at her feet, but he knew what they meant, and they did not. He ran for the cabin and donned the leather armor and the bracers and gloves and grabbed up the bow and put the arrows into the quiver and ran abck to the town center. He stood at the end of the main street where she was choosing which of them would die to feed her lusts first.

    "You will not take this valley Kadara!" I called out loud and strong.

    Her head jerked up and her eyes narrowed as she began to move with amazing speed in my direction. "Who dares use my name?"

    "Aradak the fourth," I said proudly.

    She stopped short recognizing the name. "The protector died."

    I pulled the arrow from the quiver and aimed it at her, "And I was born." I said as I fired straight and true. She moved and the arrow grazed her arm, but there was a hideous stench caused by it. I added another arrow to the bow and watched now, measuring her movements. This time when she lurched and moved to attack me I was ready and my arrow struck true to her heart and she fell to the ground as green odorous clouds rose from her.

    The people slowly emerged and came to see the spectacle. "Go home I said, prepare. Winter will come this year as it always has."