Monday, December 14, 2009

Short Stories

I've been playing around with some fantasy/horror stuff again, short stories though. One, I wrote with one of my classes. They had to write a story using the following: A Monk, A Bag, A Compass, Grandparents, A Monster Attack, A Mysterious Disappearance, A Season, and a Camp. It all lended to a pretty interesting story.

Prior to that, I was working with a group of kids and had a moment to daydream (it happens), and I imagined this story about a viking sort of fellow who stumbled into something unnatural, perhaps supernatural. It grew into a story of temptation, death, and despair of a spiritual kind. It reminds me a lot of my Afterlives stories actually, or some of my older short stories.

I'm almost tempted to assemble a short story collection, reworking some of my old stuff. I'm just not sure I have enough. I'd really have to consider the order in which they were assembled, the themes I allowed in, and so forth. Frankly, a lot of my unfinished stuff wouldn't work. Nor would I devote much time to finishing it. However, there is something to be said for some of my short stories. It'd probably have to be a paperback, if anything, and it'd be short. Things to think about I guess.

In the meantime, until I work more on In-Roam or Earthbound, here's a sample of 'A Dance in the Twilight':

Again, the light flickered among the trees, and the very trees seemed to waver uncertainly. His hand went to his belt, grasping for the sword he’d lost when Dyre and Egil had fallen, feathered with arrows. He had no weapon left to him save for his knife, which was notched from use and dull after all he’d been through.

Anger surged through him and helplessness with it. Tears flowed from his eyes unrestrained. His nephew and brother were both gone. Perhaps Jens, his own son, had escaped, as he had. Perhaps it would have been better to die beside his kin, cradling his son’s body in his arms as they hacked him to pieces. In that end, at least, there was honor.

Not knowing what other course to follow or perhaps seeking a swifter end with all the misery he’d endured, Geir went toward the lights, which grew stronger now. They pulsated and danced among the trees, blue, green, and yellow spheres of radiance. Spirits, he thought, and perhaps helpful ones.

His folk were a superstitious lot. Some would have turned from wisps and fey forest spirits, but Geir recalled stories his grandmother had told, stories where the spirits had aided a wounded man or a lost hunter. Could it not happen to him?

Under his feet, he crushed rings of toadstools, fairy rings. He thought he saw minute creatures scurrying beneath them, hiding in the gills of the great fungi, some the size of his hands or larger, but he wasn’t certain. The lights ahead were more intriguing anyway.

Owls watched overhead with their large, unblinking, yellow eyes as he staggered forward to where the trees seemed to undulate and hum. As he leaned upon one, he saw eyes and a face turn to look at him from within the ridges of bark. A silvery birch beside it smiled cunningly at him.


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