It's been a long wait, but we've finally decided who we'd pick as the winner of the October Writing Contest and it is....
The Smiling Sorcerer, writer of 'Deadman Playing Solo'!
A lie, that’s how this all started. Nothing is more evil than a lie, yet that is what changed me into the person, no—thing, I am today. It changed my attitude, made me dark, experience the taste of abandonment and murder, and made me fall from a place that I thought could never be shaken from my heart.
Little did I know, I was wrong…very wrong. And it all stem from a single lie by a woman, three years ago with a knock on a door.
“I’m coming!” A woman’s voice echoed inside, as she heard a feint knock on the door.
“Yes? How can I help you?”
As the door swung inwards, a pale white haired man presumably in his mid-twenties and dressed in nothing but a cloth robe, collapsed at her feet.
“Oh dear me!” the woman cried. “Are you alright?” But before she could get a reply from the man, he had already blacked out…his hand clutching her shoe slightly at the ankle.
Nearly half the sun’s cycle had passed before the man started to wake again. Though he was still partially unaware of his surroundings, he found himself being dampened on the forehead with a wet cloth. As his eyes focused, the first thing that came into view was a pair of light blue eyes as crystal clear as the ocean.
“Oh good, you’re finally waking up.” The woman said in a soft caring tone. Her voice was almost musical. “You seem to have passed out from heat exhaustion. I had no idea when you would recover.” She pressed her thin hand against his cheek to check his temperature. “Hmm…” she said. “You still feel a bit warm. Stay here a bit longer if you like.”
“My name’s Valerie Larose, it’s nice to meet you stranger.”
That was the name that I would eventually both thank and curse. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have accepted her offer, knowing what I know now.
At the time however, it seemed like the right thing to do. I was in poor shape to be on my own, and she was nice and kind…at least in the beginning. Boy what a fool I was.
The next thing I knew, hours turned into days, and days into weeks. During that time, we began to both learn about one another. We found that we were both adopted. She was an adopted princess of a royal family, and I and an adopted son to a Blacksmith, now deceased. However, she supposedly denounced her given royalty to lead a rebel group called “The Eden Knights.”
They were a small group of civilians from all walks of life that were tired of being under the rule of a selfish kin, who only cared about power and money---something that I related to, not having either.
Eventually, she convinced me to join her and her group. That was my second mistake…and the beginning of my demise. Soon, three months had passed, and I was knee deep in my first raid.
The sounds of swords, shields, and screams could be heard haunting the halls of a once quiet stonewall castle. The only thing brighter than the endless sea of crimson red blood was the hope that the morning light gave off as it shined through the stain glass windows that lined the halls.
A tall woman adorning a red robe adorned with skulls, Valerie was at the front of the fray. Her attire seemed impervious to the splatters of blood that were caused by her hands.
“Break through their ranks, don’t hold anything back!” she commanded.
At her words, thieves, merchants, ex-soldiers, healers, and a lone Summoner pressed forward, throwing caution—and at times, rationalization—to the wind.
Their persistence paid off, once they had reached a pair of tall, thick, wood framed doors. Its height was as high as two giants standing end to end, and in front laid what looked like a two-ton barricade latch. Certainly more than thirteen men and women could move on their own.
The commanding leader, face painted in abstract blood, stepped forward. “Stand aside, I’ll open the door.” She began to raise her hands, the empty eye sockets of the skulls on her dress, pulsating red like a bomb was a bomb was about to go off.
With a scream of intensity, what seemed to be an invisible gust of wind burst the giant gates open. The men and women behind her rushed past like a pack of hungry, savage wolves.
But I was too distracted by what had just transpired to run forward, it was fear that froze me, no not at all. It was astonishment. The way she commanded her powers and carried herself, to be both so graceful and courageous at the same time. Not only just in strength but emotion as well. Such power was a true sight to behold…and admire.
I’ll never forget the admiration I felt, as I stood there in awe.
“Summoner, Summoner! Come on, let’s go.” She said as she put her hand gently atop the man’s shoulder. “Do not be afraid, I never leave my friends behind.” She gave a smile, her ocean blue eyes gazing strongly into his.
That was it. Those were the words that would turn me into a monster…the lie that started it all.
The two ran forward together, heading passed the shattered wooden gates and into an octagonal room. The only light was that of burning torches in every corner. A empty throne was the lone furnishing in the back of the room, eleven men and women surrounding it in a circle.
“The thrones empty, the king’s not here!” one of the rebels said. “What should we do your majesty?” a second asked.
She stepped forward into the center of the man-made circle, turning to her comrades.
“If he is not here, then we shall summon him.” she said with confidence, as the rest looked upon her in confusion. “Summoner, come here please,”
The thirteenth member of the rebellion, the pale white skinned man stepped forward, pulling out a charm in the shape of a skull from a leather satchel that was tied around his waist.
“This is my chance to prove myself.” Though I had no idea what was going on, that is what I thought to myself. I wanted to aspire to be what I had witnessed earlier. I wanted to become confident and strong. Again, if I had known what I know now, I wouldn’t have raised my hand…
I wouldn’t have raised the dead…not a second time.
The man stepped forward and raised his arm to the sky, a sickly-looking skull clutched in his hand. He began to mutter a sequence of incantations that almost resembled that of the language of the old religion from biblical times. Soon after, the torches went out, and the room went dark.
The only light that was there was from a sudden appearance of blue flames that rested atop the empty throne in the center of the room. A ghostly hand began to rise through the throne, eventually revealing a stout, bearded, see-through body. A laugh echoed through the corridor.
“Hahaha! Foolish mortals, you think you can defeat the king of the Underworld?! Think again!”
With a growl, the ghostly king grew three times his normal size, towering over the rebels like ants. He threw his hands down at them with blinding speed. All but the Summoner, the leader and a lone healer were instantly killed. Their bodies engulfed in blue flames, before all that was left was tiny sparkling remnants of their souls.
The leader screamed out towards the powerful king. “You’ll pay for that!” She shouted. Turning to the Summoner, she once again placed her hand lightly on his shoulder.
“Do you think you could summon something to hold him off?” She looked at him in confidence. “I know you can do it.” She said smiling.
To be honest, I was in over my head…but to hear her words of trust, made me want to support her that much more than I already did. Because for once, it seemed like someone believed in me.
With a quick incantation, the man summoned a giant skeletal knight to combat the great ghostly king. However, as fast as it was summoned, the king killed it in one fell swoop. His hand passed right through the skeletal knight and onwards into the man’s body.
Just like the others, his body was engulfed in flames and soon leaving only sparkling remnants in the wake of the disaster.
“Not again!” the woman screamed. “I can’t believe it…” the healer replied. With that, in a split second the two vanished as blue light consumed them and everything went black.
Words had suddenly appeared in the pitch blackness.
“CONNECTION AND DATA LOST. PLEASE RESTART.”
A young man’s voice shouted in frustration.
“You’ve got to be KIDDING me! The young man said in anger. “We were so close!”
The young man got up, cane in hand and pressed a red button. A bright light consumed the black screen and a pale, white skinned haired man was seen standing in the center.
“I hope I can get back in time.” The young man said to himself, as blackness turned once again into a desert landscape with a quaint looking home in the near distance. A note was posted on the door to the home.
The pale skinned man walked up to the door and read the note.
Thanks for being part of the role-play adventure with us, it was fun, but we’ve all decided to move onto a different game, as we were getting bored and being unable to complete the dungeon of the underworld.
You’re welcome to join us if you like, but be sure to pick a stronger class next time.
A loud thud was heard behind the desert scene. “You lied, YOU LIED!” the young man screamed in anger, his heart broken like shattered glass. “You said you don’t leave your friends behind…but it was a lie.”
With that, a single phrase from the not rang in the young man’s mind. “Pick a stronger class.”
For a second time, blackness then light appeared once again. Yet in place of the Summoner, was an undead sorcerer dressed in dark blue robes adorned with skulls and wearing a toothy grin.
“If you’re leaving, then there’s no point in keeping this place around.” The sorcerer said in a deep echoing voice. He placed his hand upon the stone walls and summoned forth blue flames from a pair of skeletal hands.
And as he turned around and started to walk away, with each step he took, a yellow brick filled with good memories burned away into smoke that filled the sky.
And so that’s my story. A story that begun from the telling of a lie given to me by a seemingly caring woman. The story that made me taste abandonment, and experience murdering someone—or something I had felt close to.
And as much heartache as it brought me, it changed the way I look the virtual world forever. And to this day, I now am just a “Deadman Playing Solo.”
The Smiling Sorcerer is a man of many talents does some pretty cool graphic design work!