Finish the Story Contest week #21 - My Entry: The Border

in #finishthestory4 years ago (edited)

For just a moment he felt frozen. No amount of training could have prepared him for this - the uncertainty, the anxiety. His hand was shaking and every breath sounded like a roar as he slowly inched his way around the corner, keeping his body hidden, yet peeking his face just around the bend to see what lay ahead. The air was heavy with mist and his visibility was low. Still in the shadows he can see them coming towards him - large, formless - a black so dark that it seemed to swallow the night. Gripping the sword ever tighter in his hands his mind fell back to his training and he slowed his breathing and try to find that mental place in his mind where fear was just an illusion.


As he peered into the darkness, suddenly there was nothing and the night was still and quiet. He look to either side of him and his eyes scan the terrain searching up high and looking down low hit there was nothing to be seen. Still on high alert he stepped forward exposing himself but eager to find this evil and banishment. He had heard about this happening before and usually is with the new recruits. The Those can smell the fear of the freshly trained soldiers who haven't been pardoned by battle yet. They come to play with your mind , to keep you on settled to scare you to make you jumpy to get you to stop trusting your own instincts. He wasn't going to fall for that. That's somewhere in the shadows they were lurking and ready to pounce.

Almost as if on cue, he heard a noise ahead of him and without even thinking about it ran forward towards it. Sword drawn, fist clenched and with gritted teeth he swung the sword swiftly and heavily only for it to whoosh through the air and smash into the stone of the wall, giving him nothing except the dry powder that dusted his face. There was nothing there and part of him felt a sense of relief. He could feel the sweat trailing down the side of his face and felt a cold chill as the breeze swept past him.Perhaps tonight wouldn't be the night and that he that may even live past his first day as a soldier. Resigned to the evening he turned to head back to his sentry station.

As he turned around, there it stood right before him not more than two feet from his face. A giant figure loomed over him at least four head lengths taller than himself. With the body of a man yet still formless, it's shape was shifting - but it wasn't shaping itself into weapons of destruction. He could almost feel it's tentacles reaching deep into his mind, feeling around and searching for his deepest fears. When he looked into the face of the beast all he could see was his own terror - it was more of a feeling than something he was actually seeing and it wasn't death or pain. It was coldness and fear, loneliness - it was failure and disappointment. Staring into the beast, it seemed as though every childhood fear and come to surface and every time and his life or he experienced sorrow or pain came flooding to the forefront of his mind and in his heart. Without laying a single finger on him this dark and formless thing known as the Those had debilitated the soldier into nothing more than a scared and weak child. In his mind , he could feel himself surrendering to the darkness - when suddenly, the first rays of light began to pierce through the skylights high above. A sliver of morning light fell upon the dark figure and it recoiled in pain as the sunlight caused it to smoke like an ember. Unceremoniously it swiftly disappeared into the shadows without a sound and then was gone. The Border Legionnaire lay motionless, exhausted and razzled.He slowly picked himself back up and hobbled his way back to the guard station. He was no longer the same wide eyed recruit that started this shift - he had been touched.


Nice writing! I like the original take on the description of what really are the Those!
But...what about the heavy terminator? Your Legionnaire has a sword...and has the mental battle with the That lasted the entire night? In the story beginning it was sunset, and in your ending it's the dawn.

you only gave me 500 words to work with -- I had to scale back 200 words as it is 'll have to fill in some of the blanks - plus I forgot about the Heavy Terminator he had in the beginning - I just assumed that was the name of his sword.. why can't he have a sword AND a terminator? I have to admit - this story is a little outside of my genre , I don't even know what a terminator is .... but I was wanting to flex my creative muscle since it has been a while since I've done any creative writing. As far as the all night mental battle... sure why not? ....besides - watch any action movie - a car chase that starts at night ends with the sun coming up all the time.....anyhow thanks for checking it out - let me submit chapter 2 and I will explain how he simply fell asleep on guard duty all night and had a horrible nightmare..meanwhile the castle was pillaged....

The 500 words are indeed part of the challenge, we know that being both effective and brief is a difficult alchemy.. Don't worry for the questions they're just part of the fact that we truly curate and review the contributions.. keep up the good work and practicing with us ;-)

Effective. Where did you get that picture? Perfect for the piece. Especially like the line: who haven't been pardoned by battle yet. He survives and he grows. He has been pardoned by battle. Nice arc.

Welcome between the participants to the Finish the Story contest and good luck!

Another awesome one... And poetic too...

Eye See You

Greetings, brave storyteller!
Finish the Story Contest - Weeek #22 is out, crispy and warm, on the Bananafish blog!
Now, with an increased overall prize of 8 SBI shares!

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