My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

My First Story

659 words. That is how many words I managed to write at my parent's old IBM computer in high school. I knew I wanted to write a story about someone on a quest to find the greatest sword ever made. I couldn't have even told you at the time that I was attempting to write a fantasy story. I didn't even know that word or what "genre" meant. I just knew I liked stories and wanted to try my hand at my own. It wasn't until finished college that I started to actually pursue writing, and even that was after I got married and quit the heavy metal band I was in. I wanted to have something to continue my creative output into. Unlike being in a band, which required a lot of time practicing, I could write on my own whenever I had time to. And so, I started to write. If you click on the BOOKS tab above you can see I have written some books. A search on eBook retail websites will show you I've written a couple dozen short stories as well. I had the idea today, wouldn't it be fun to finish what I started all those years ago? Now that I've learned a thing or two about story structure and have gotten a lot of words down on the page. Maybe now I could tackle this story. It would be a Young Adult fantasy adventure. My original title was simple: "The Swordsman." I doubt I would stick to that if I ever end up publishing it but there it is. It smacks of "The Three Musketeers" which I remember getting from the Library and reading one summer. That's where I picked up the word Zounds. So here it is in all of it's terrible glory:

Splat! A drop of rain was sliced into several pieces by his perky aggressive hair. It welcomed grease and always reached for the sky. It was easily pleaded, for who it rode upon was constantly on the move, sweating up a fight, or escaping death once more. The clothes of which he wears, with reasons, are replete with lush forest shades, and a worn look. They are tattered from much good use, and carry little stories with each rip or tear. His eyes are resplendent, and yet wise. With his current sword grasping his left hip, he walks always briskly (that is, when he's not running of course). His forest flavored eyes are constantly mimicking the ways of his body, jumping around and dodging from place to place.
“Zounds, there he is!” shouted a castle guard.
“He mustn't get away!” yelled another.
He raced down the dark lonely alley, jumped off a wall, and kicked himself the other direction to just catch the top of a gate. Quickly he jumped over to the other side, set down a long plain sac, and drew his sword. 
“Take this in return you undeserving pitiful swordsmen; you have my sorrow for your great lack of skill. Tell the king this sword I have throne to you is of equal value, just not quality.” 
Or so I hope, he thought. 
“I guess they don't make royal guard standards as high as I remember.”
The guards just tried to ignore him, even though they knew he easily got the best of them. They were all trying to get the gate open faster, but with little luck. It was but a small side gate rarely used, and rather rusty no less. The long brown sac was quickly snatched, and taken away. The guards, knowing they had failed, simply gave up with the gate, and watched the stealthy figure disappear into darkness. Then they heard a strange sound, perhaps a whistle being blown, and then the trotting of a horse. Yet all of this was out of sight, for the darkness had already set in long ago; just as was planned by this mysterious crafty swordsman.
“Was not that the man who goes any and everywhere in search of the greatest sword ever built?” said a guard breaking the silence. 
“Could be, let me have a look at that there…” 
The guard's face turned to stone.
“It had to be! For look upon the sword he left behind!”
He gazed upon the long missing sword of the Vanchester Castle. "This sword tis from a very far away land! Lord Byron shant be as mad at us with this, but we still have it coming to us."
Slowing the pace through Everglade Meadow he threw down the sac revealing a majestic sword of almost perfect weight, balance, and length.
This one better be superior to the last one, not that I had to go to any trouble to get it, he thought.
Having his sword he continued on his way towards the nearest forest his eyes met. He knew not of where he was going, or why he was going that way. He only knew that he was going somewhere, and that somewhere was a place to test out his new sword to see if it was good enough. If it wasn't an adequate sword then he would search word of an even greater sword, and then head that way as he liked.
As of now, he had wandered into a cheery forest. As he roamed through he found a small trail far off from the beaten path he was presently following. He only cared for an adventure at the end of the way, therefore, he began to follow the smaller harder to ensue trail. After a matter of ten minutes he saw the trail begin to broaden, and finally the musty appearance of an old shanty came into view.

Copyright Dan Absalonson © 2022

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