Kingdom of Time. Sunday Scribbles 2018, Week 11 (Origin) #shortstory #sunscribbles

Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!

This Sunday’s prompt is: Origin.

ssbanner 18th mar origin
Introduction: Sunday Scribbles Writing Prompts   Stories: Sunday Scribbles Short Stories

I’m collaborating with the owner of a Minecraft server this week, Jay_K, to write a story which takes place in his server, Kingdom of Time. The story will be used as part of an in game quest, which is super exciting 🙂

I occasionally use Minecraft to plot buildings or areas in my stories. Not only is it a useful visual tool, it’s fun too! The server is a Vanilla multi player server, Minecraft version 1.12.2.

Website: Kingdom of Time

IP Address: vanilla.kingdomoftime.co.uk

This week’s top tip is:

18th march advice draw
To visualise your world, draw a map. It’ll help you plan your characters adventures.

Onto the story!

Clara pulled back her bowstring and shot an arrow towards the giant beast in the sky, but it skidded off sharp scales with a shower of sparks and zipped past her companion’s head.

‘Hey, watch it!’ Steve yelled. He clutched his ear, but had no time to worry about the red on his palm. The dragon opened its mouth and shot a fireball towards him. Steve rolled to the side and turned to Clara. ‘What do we do?’

Clara glanced towards the forest. ‘There’s only one thing we can do. Follow me.’

She led the way into a thicket of trees behind a large crater, where a cottage stood in the middle of the woods. She strode up to the door and knocked.

An elderly woman, face framed with wispy white strands of hair and red scarf wrapped around her neck, opened the door. ‘I told you, I won’t give you the… Oh, it’s you.’

Steve gestured to the village. ‘We need your help.’

The woman raised an eyebrow. ‘Thought you two could handle anything with that fancy sword an’ bow?’

‘Anything but a dragon,’ Clara replied. ‘It tore a hole through the centre of the village and it’s breathing fire everywhere!’

‘A dragon you say? Impossible.’ She shuffled outside and peered up into the sky. ‘It can’t be… This is grave news indeed.’

‘Can you help us kill it?’ Clara asked.

The woman shook her head.

Steve’s arm shot to the side in protest. ‘But you’re a powerful sorceress!’

A sad smile curled her lips. ‘It doesn’t deserve death, my dear. That dragon was a hero.’

The two young fighters looked at her in disbelief. The woman rolled her eyes and shuffled inside, to stand before a cauldron filled with water.

‘It’s better if I show you. Watch.’ She waved a weathered hand over the shimmering surface, and the image of a small town appeared.

‘What the…’

The woman shushed Steve and gestured again to the cauldron. Images flickered in quick succession in front of their eyes. Flames lit fires and protected livestock from predators. A scaled wall curled around the villagers as they slept, with a watchful purple eye open.

‘He was our protector,’ the woman said with a gesture to the water. She clutched a pendant around her neck, an hourglass with a single gem set in the middle.

Clara glanced out the window, where the dragon continued its rampage. ‘What happened?’

‘A young man came to our village, seeking shelter. He warmed our hearts, but one night…’

The sorceress waved a hand over the water, and the image shifted.

‘This isn’t you, Archie. Don’t do this. Please.’

‘You always were too soft, Matilda. With the dragon under our control we’d be unstoppable.’

‘No.’ The young sorceress looked away. When she looked back her eyes were hardened with resolve. ‘I can’t let you do this.’

She raised a hand and sent a gust of wind towards him. He staggered away, towards the edge of a giant canyon. ‘But it’s already done.’

The dragon appeared behind him, its wing beats scattering debris into the village. Matilda raised her arms to shield her face. When she lowered them Archie was nowhere to be seen, but sparks flickered in the back of the dragons wide open mouth and a fireball shot towards her.

She threw herself behind a cobblestone wall in the nick of time and peered around the edge. There was an eerie red glow around the dragon, the likes of which she’d only seen once before.

She tightened her scarf and emerged from her hiding place, but every counter spell she muttered had no effect. She sighed and grasped her hourglass shaped pendant, with three inset gems. ‘I’m sorry. I have no other choice.’

She raised her arms. Magic swirled around her, and a bolt of pure energy snaked out from her pendant towards the dragon. It froze the dragon in place, and with a shaky hand, Matilda directed a wave of magic towards the canyon. The ground shook and shifted as the land altered. When it stopped shaking, all that remained of the canyon was a deep hole.

Matilda directed her arms down. The dragon, frozen in time, lowered into the depths. At her whispered command, the ground shifted over the hole and sealed it inside.

Her pendant cracked, and two gemstones shot into the night. One tore through the depths of the land, and one flew towards the Forest of Night Walkers. A single gem remained, in the centre of the pendant around the neck of the sorceress who saved the town. She sank to her knees and cried out, head angled towards the sky and hot tears mixing with the falling rain.

‘That was you, wasn’t it?’ Clara asked sadly as the vision faded.

Matilda nodded.

Steve shook his head. ‘As sad as it is, this Kingdom is timeless… We can’t let it fall.’

‘I know.’ Matilda held up her hourglass pendant. ‘Which is why you need to find the other gems.’

‘Where did she say we were going again?’

Clara adjusted her backpack. ‘The Forest of Night Walkers, and the Nether Fortress.’

‘Neither of them sound friendly.’ Steve’s fingers tightened around his sword. ‘Glad I brought this.’

‘Hmm.’ Clara plastered herself against a tree and readied an arrow. ‘Stay alert.’

Steve glanced up, but the thick canopy of leaves let very little light through. He stuck close to Clara as they carried on through a forest that was more like a maze. They emerged at the edge of a camp, and in the centre, surrounded by creatures of the night, stood a small stone pyramid.

At the peak a creature, dressed as a human but with the face of a monster, addressed the  horde of undead. ‘We’ve been at peace for years, but now humans threaten our solitude.’

The assembled zombies groaned. Bones rattled as skeletons raised their bows to the sky.

Whilst Clara was fixated on the horde, Steve scanned the camp with quick eyes. He grabbed her arm and pointed. ‘There!’

Clara followed his gaze towards the pyramid, where, in an alcove behind the leader, a purple gemstone sat on a pedestal. She gripped her bow. ‘Only one thing for it I guess.’

Steve nodded. ‘I’ll cut down the archers, you cover me from here.’

With that he dashed into the clearing and began to tear through the horde. He cut down wave after wave of skeleton archers as he ducked and dived to avoid their arrows. Clara, from her position in the trees, felled zombies with quick fire arrows until only the leader remained.

The leader laughed. ‘It’s futile. More will rise, you know. Beauty of being undead.’

‘We don’t want to fight you, we just want the crystal,’ Steve said, with a gesture to the pedastal. ‘Give us that an’ we’ll leave.’

His eyes narrowed. ‘No can do. Without it, I’ll be as mindless as the rest of them.’

Clara stepped forward and unleashed an arrow. ‘Without it, our village will be destroyed. Sorry.’ She winced as her arrow lodged in the exposed brain of the creature, and it fell to the floor in crumpled heap.

‘Taking no prisoners?’ Steve asked with a grim expression. He stepped around the fallen creature and grasped the gem.

‘Our families are at stake. We can’t afford to waste time,’ Clara said. She gestured homeward. ‘Come on, lets see if Matilda’s done with the portal.’

She was. They emerged into a land of fire and lost souls. Steve wiped a hand across his forehead. ‘Is that the fortress?’

Clara narrowed her eyes. In the distance, across a lake of bubbling lava, were the crimson walls of the fortress. ‘Unfortunately.’

Steve sighed. ‘All right. I think I can see a path across, but we’ll have to be careful.’

With tentative steps they approached the lava. Small patches of land were scattered across it, and Steve took a running jump to the first one. He grinned and turned to Clara. ‘Easy. Come on.’

They carefully made their way across the deadly lake, and paused in front of the fortress.

‘I hope we don’t have to fight,’ Clara said between huffs. She gestured at the steam rising from the ground. ‘Don’t think I can aim straight in this.’

Steve approached the fortress and gestured inside the wide open archway. ‘Sorry to disappoint.’

Clara gasped. A giant skeleton with a large sword, bones charred and grey, stood in front of a throne. Tucked under the throne was a treasure chest. ‘Let me guess. Gem’s in there?’

‘Likely,’ Steve agreed. ‘But looks like he’s alone. I can handle this.’

Clara nodded and hung back whilst Steve swung his sword at the creature. It parried his attack, but Steve matched it blow for blow. It was going well until the walls began to glow.

‘Watch out!’ Clara yelled, as a flying golden creature appeared and shot a fireball towards Steve’s head.

Steve spun round. Wide eyes registered the fireball, and he ducked. It singed his hair, and he patted it frantically as he dodged another swing by his assailant. ‘Deal with those… Things!’

Clara nodded and aimed as best she could through the haze. Her arrow hit the wall with a thud and clattered to the floor. She’d missed, but their glowing beady eyes were focused on her now, not Steve, whose arms shook as his sword clashed with the enemy. She let loose a volley of arrows in the general direction of her assailants. It was a close call, but they won. Sweating and panting, they raided the treasure chest and made for the portal.

When they emerged, it was to chaos. Trees were alight, and the fires were spreading rapidly. Houses were reduced to ash. People cowered at the portal, torn between staying put or facing the dangers on the other side. At the dock ships tried to carry frightened townspeople away, but their sails were peppered with flames and they couldn’t catch the breeze.

Matilda darted over as fast as her cane would allow. Her eyes were frantic. ‘Did you get them?’

Steve nodded and handed over the purple gems. Matilda grabbed them and turned them over in her hand with a frown. ‘That’s not right. They should be clear.’

Clara’s frantic eyes darted between the dragon and the townspeople. ‘Seal the dragon. Quickly!’

Matilda’s sighed. ‘I can’t. The gems are corrupted. Must have been surrounded by darkness too long. You’ll need to purify them at the spring of life. I’ll open a portal.’ The air beside Matilda shimmered, and a portal appeared. She thrust the gems into Clara’s hand. ‘Go. Be quick!’

Clara grabbed Steve and dragged him through the portal. They emerged into a beautiful clearing. A spring bubbled up from the ground in front of them, surrounded by trees and mossy grass. Clara smiled and opened her palm to reveal the gems.

A man dressed in dark purple robes stepped out from behind a tree. ‘I knew you’d come here.’

Clara’s fingers closed around the gems and she took a step back. ‘You’re the wizard from the past. The one who corrupted the dragon!’

Steve’s hand flew to his sword.

The wizard laughed. ‘You think you can best me when she couldn’t?’

Steve looked at Clara. She pocketed the gems and readied an arrow. ‘Or die trying.’

The wizard beckoned. ‘Bring it on. But be warned, if you fail-‘

Steve dashed forward, and his sword pierced the wizard’s neck. Clara’s well aimed arrow struck his blackened heart. The wizard gasped and toppled to land in a heap by the spring.

Steve pulled his sword free. ‘Sorry mate, ain’t got time to listen to your evil villain monologue.’

Clara shook her head, secured her bow over her shoulder, and dropped to her knees in front of the spring. The moment the water lapped over the edge of her palm and touched the gems, the purple taint faded. Steve helped her up, and together they returned through the portal.

They thrust the gems into Matilda’s waiting hands. She approached the dragon with tears in her eyes and restored pendant raised towards it. ‘Sorry to do this to you again, old friend.’

Light shot from the gems in the hourglass pendant towards the dragon, but instead of freezing in place as it had long ago, it blinked and hovered in front of them to survey the decimated village. ‘Did I do this?’

Matilda nodded, eyes wide in surprised hope, and she cautiously explained the story to the once great protector.

‘I see,’ the dragon said, with a frown towards the gathered villagers. ‘Then I shall take my leave. None will tolerate my presence after all I’ve done.’

Steve and Clara supported Matilda as she wiped her eyes. They watched the dragon take off across the sky, headed for a place where it could live in peace and never be used for the purpose of evil again. The End.

Thanks for reading!

I don’t usually write ‘The End’ at the end of my stories, but I couldn’t resist: The dragon in Minecraft lives in ‘The End,’ and this is where it’s heading now! Feel free to join the server and look around. The dragon from the featured image is still at the docks!

Why not write a short story based on a prompt yourself? The last prompt for March is:

ssbanner 25th mar spring
Sunday 25th March: Spring.

One word not enough? I post expanded prompts on Pinterest: 

Sunday Scribbles Writing Prompt 18th March Origin.jpg
‘The sky darkened. Thunder rumbled, and the sky split open. I fled. I had to find the origin point before it was too late.’

If you use one of the prompts, feel free to share your story links below.

Feeling creative? I also run a weekly hashtag game on Twitter, #sunscribbles, where you can share one off lines or quotes from a #WIP around the weekly prompt!

See you next week!

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