MISC August 2018: The Greatest Evil


Magnificent Bastard
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Fantasy is my #1; I will give almost anything a chance if it has strong fantasy elements. Post apocalyptic, superhero, alternate history, science fantasy, some supernatural, romance, and a few fandoms (especially Game of Thrones) are also likely to catch my eye.

MISC: Monthly Iwaku Story Challenge
August 2018

[warning]DISCLAIMER: This is NOT the Miscellaneous Iwaku Storytelling Contest. We kept the cool name, changed the game![/warning]

Each month on Iwaku, we will post an official writing prompt. This is just a fun challenge to inspire ideas and allow our users to stretch their creative writing muscles! Short stories, poems, and even roleplay posts are allowed as submissions. To participate, all you have to do is post your submission in this thread.

All users are also encouraged to give feedback on posted replies to the challenge and discuss ideas!

This month's prompt is

The Greatest Evil

Image by Wonchun Choi

You've fought through the hordes of foul beasts to have your final confrontation with the Dark Lord, only to find that their true identity is... you, from a future in which you won and everything got so much worse after the Dark Lord was defeated.


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"So it really is you... me."

Wiping the sweat and grime from my face, my eyes remained on the man reclining on a throne as black as his cloak and crown. It had been hard to admit it was me out loud, but there was no denying that face. I was always told I looked like my brother, save our different coloured eyes, and unfortunately for me this man's eyes were the same blue as mine.

The smirk on his face made it clear that he knew who I was. "Yes, it's me. And you are me as well. Interesting, isn't it?"

His nonchalant- no, his mocking words had me grinding my teeth. I had gone through so much to come here. I had faced so many enemies, humans and monsters alike, killing and barely managing to keep myself alive simply to finally have a chance to fell this man before me... and yet...

Looks like prophecies are true, even if you decided to scoff at them and call them 'smophecies' instead. What was it the old geezer had said?

You are your worst enemy, and you will be your own end.

I always though that was meant figuratively, like I had to think positively otherwise I'd end up ruining things for myself.

Well, looks like I was very wrong.

"Come on then," he called, standing up with his arms held out. "Do what you've come to do."

"Why?" I knew the real me, and there was nothing inside me that would want to turn into an evil overlord. "Tell me why you've become... this!" I motioned at him with a rough jerk of my hand.

"..." For a second it looked like my question stumped him; then he laughed and pulled his sword from its scabbard. "Don't fight your destiny! I asked the same question, and I still ended up as I am now! Fate and the Gods decided this. We're cursed, and that's all there is to it!" The laughter had faded and his blue eyes seemed to darken. "We're not the first, the second, or even the last! This cycle will continue-"

His voice came to a sudden halt. "What-"

"I'm making this the last cycle." Pulling the sword I had stabbed him with from his gut, I granted myself the same favour. "Goodbye, me."​


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Gasping for breath as I vanquished the last of the minions and stood at the blood spattered doors that led to the final foe. My soul was weary of this war and the high cost it had exacted not only on myself but on my companions. He looked over at my best friend and right hand general and crooked a sideways grin, "Ready to end this?"

His lips curled into an almost sinister looking smile, "Oh aye sir, more than ready..."

I pushed open the doors as blood dripped from them. The screech of stiff hinges echoed into the dimly lit chamber within but the lone figure could be seen seated upon a throne of cold stone. His form was draped in black robes that were joined at the collar by a gleaming gold neckpiece which appeared to be made up of the fangs of a great beast. About his waist he wore a belt of skulls that almost seemed to look at me from a dark and aching place. His face was obscured from view as we entered, but as we drew near, the fire from next to the throne illumined the gaunt almost lifeless features of the man.

I took a step back, "Who are you? What manner of sorcery is this?!"

The laughter that filled the room and reverberated into our very souls was cold and menacing. "No sorcery at all. I am what you see."

"You cannot be."

Standing the dark lord almost appeared to float across the room, but it was more an illusion created by the sweeping cape he wore than a true show of supernatural powers. "Look closer and you will see I am."

My general finally saw his face and gasped, "Is he your father? Brother?"

The dark lord again erupted in laughter, "Such small minds...how have we endured them so long?" In an impossibly swift and deadly attack his sword ran through the general, "I am... HIM!" he whispered as the life drained from the man and he stepped back removing his sword which left the man to crumble to the floor in a heap. Turning back the dark lord peered at me, "Are you sure you are ready for this battle?"

I blinked. Was I? Of course I was, I'd fought through every lower minion to get here. In a show of false bravado I spat out, "Are you ready to die?"

Again the echo of cold laughter filled the room, "I have been ready for what feels like centuries...but are you? You do realize what this means? What will happen when I am no longer..."

He was speaking in riddles trying to confuse me, and damn it if it wasn't working. I had no idea what would happen once he died, but how could it be worse than the reality they currently lived in? I couldn't imagine such a thing, however his words caused me to pause. "What I know is this....that you have oppressed the people, tortured and maimed them. Life is dark and burdensome with little hope of joy or accomplishment. Ending your tyranny is the only way to bring those things back to the people."

The sign of resignation that rushed forth from the dark lord was hot and made the room seem much smaller somehow. "I once believed that as well, but such was not the case....as you can see."

"Are you saying I will become the oppressor? That I will cease to hold dear all that I have fought for, and for which many died?" I asked defiantly, "Never! It cannot be!"

"It will not happen quickly...but as you see it will happen...it will be thrust upon you like a dagger to the heart and rob you of every good thought and intent. You cannot stop it happening..."

I'd seen such things happen to good men. But I was different wasn't I? Men willing followed me, fought with me and for me to this end. Sure their loyalty and belief meant I could not possibly become this...monstrosity which stood before me. I balked at the thought. "I cannot believe that is true."

"Nor did I at one time."

"So then, if killing you is not the answer, what is? I would hear your thoughts on the matter."

The dark lord huffed and reclaimed the seat he'd been occupying upon my arrival. His body landed with a dull thud and he looked thoughtful and I dare say a bit shocked. He sat so for a full ten minutes and then he spoke, "If I die not...thins will not get any better, but they will also not grow worse. It is for you to decide which path to walk. I did not ask this question. Perhaps you will end the cycle in this way and things will improve. I cannot say."

I listened and attended his words. Could I end the evil by allowing the dark one to live? Was this some sort of horrible test or treachery to get my guard down and fall victim to his sword as my general had? I could test the theory. I had fought my way to his doorstep once and I could and would do so again if necessary. Time. It was a vicious task master, but it was also patient and forever moving forward. "Then I shall test this path, but know that should things not improve I will return and take the other." saying so I retreated out the door and back to the men waiting at the drawbridge of the sinister castle. "We are done here men. Home calls. Let us go forth and change the fate of this land."

A young private stepped forth, "What of the dark lord?"

"He isn't going anywhere...if need be I will return to finish what was begun here...I think though that his power is at an end. His army is defeated and he sits alone on a cold throne. It is for us to determine a new beginning...and we shall."