After a hiatus from writing these dailies, I am back with another one! It may not be a daily thing anymore, so sorry for the false advertising, but I will try to get back into these as they’ve gotten some really positive reception on here. They are fun, and I feel really productive to do them while working on my two WIP projects: my When In Doubt draft and my untitled Fantasy-genre series thats still being ideated.
Todays prompt was from the image above, which is a short story starter I found on Pinterest. While I didn’t take the story further like I originally wanted, what I did instead was add some depth to what was already included in this short excerpt and…enhance it a little bit? Here is my work below the image:
The world burns all around them, and it was all his fault.
The hero, who was supposed to protect them all and assure their safety, had failed miserably and let this darkness into their lives and couldn’t do anything about it once the darkness crept inside the walls and destroyed them from within. All because the hero put his faith in someone who he shouldn’t have in the first place.
Screams could be heard off in the distance, but one by one, they were extinguished and became silent as the hero awoke in a daze on the marble floor. As he let his eyes adjust, he saw the pillars that had been knocked over, the debris that lay everywhere, and the scorching fire that was everywhere; a light that was anything but a beacon.
The hero tried to get up when he felt the sharp pain go right up his legs and even his spine and howled in agony. It was then he remembered about the betrayal; the slashing off the rapier through his calves and lower back, then the knockout of the butt of the sword against his temple. The hero checked, and there was a bump right where he’d been struck.
He had to find a way to help the others.
A shadow moved behind the wall of flames, and the hero’s eyes widened at the sight of the villain crossing over, their cloak caressed the fire as softly as a lover’s kiss. He could’ve sworn it was like the flames moved with him as if they were a part of him. The villain’s footsteps are almost completely silent against the crackling destruction around him, enclosing him while stalking with the slow intent of a master predator with prey that can’t escape. The hero had nowhere to run, and the villain reveled in it.
“Well well well, now what do we have here?” The villain tilted his head in mock concern. “Haven’t you suffered enough for today? Why must you keep fighting the inevitable?”
Rage fueled the hero as he growled from the floor. “How could you? We trusted you!”
That only made the villain’s smile grow larger. “It’s too late for me, this darkness has taken too much from me. I can only embrace it and let it take hold of me. It was the only way.”
He’d said it with such utter calmness that somehow the hero felt a chill go down his back despite the blistering heat.
“I don’t believe you!” the hero roared. “Anyone can be saved if they seek help from others.”
“Oh, I very much doubt that.” The villain chuckled. “I don’t believe I was asking either way. You should’ve seen this coming, not that you could’ve stopped this either way.”
The villain gestured with a single long finger over to the floor nearby, and the hero followed to recognize his fallen comrade lying there. Deep cuts cascaded down their face, and blood seeped out like spilled ink all over the marble floor. It was his eyes, that were usually so bright with life and mischief and laughter, now dull and unseeing that told the hero he was truly gone.
The hero could only cry in that moment. Yet another loved one he’s failed.
“Weak. Just like the others.” The villain’s smile turned into a vengeful sneer. “I only wish I could’ve prolonged the inevitable, but there wasn’t much time, but you’ll get to feel every single rip and tear they couldn’t feel.”
The hero’s whole body went cold at those words as images flashed behind his eyes, and he screamed out in pain as the footsteps of the villain drew closer. Seeing red, the hero fought through his body screaming at him to give up, to just lie there and accept this dark end, but instead rose to his knees and drew his sword.
He couldn’t go down without at least one more chance of redemption.
The villain stops walking, his smile frozen in place.
“I swear, it’s always the most unintelligent who don’t know when to give up,” he says before he raises his pale hand and cups it out towards the hero’s weapon. The villain growls and squeezes into a fist, his hand jerking without control as dark violet veins appear. A strange, pale glow emanates from the villain’s single hand, and the hero gasps as his iron sword disintegrates like dust, floating away with his last barrel of hope.
“You don’t have to do this,” the hero says. “Please, please don’t do this.”
With sweat on his brow, the villain smiles down at the fallen hero once more. “Please? Oh, how I love it when you say that.”
The villain grabs at the collar of the hero’s shirt by the collar and drags him up off his feet. With unexpected strength, the villain walks forward until the hero’s back is slammed up against the wall. The villains nails grow until they’re elongated blades, the edges digging into the hero until there is a bleeding necklace etched into his skin. The villain leans in closer to the hero, who sees nothing of the ally he knew before.
The villain purrs into his ear, “Please, do it again.”
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell