There seems to be a general lack of original works (as in, not fanfiction) here despite the fact that we actually have a dedicated tag for them, so i thought I might as well post some short stories I wrote about a year or so ago for a Creative Writing class in college. Enjoy. First up is my only finished story with an old character of mine: Blaze Frost. I came up with the character a long time ago for a WarioWare. fanfic that never got anywhere. I liked the character though, so I decided I would give him his own series of mystery novels. That didn't get anywhere either. When we were given our first short story assignment in the Creative Writing class I mentioned earlier, I decided to revive the character and made this. I may actually get back to trying to write his series, or at least some more short stories with him. Spoiler: The One That Got Away My name is Blaze Frost and I am a detective. My father, Jack, was a detective before me. Unfortunately both he and my mother were both killed in an accident about two years ago, hit by a drunken truck driver. After that fateful night I inherited my father’s detective agency. Well, I say agency but really it was more like a two room office, with just me and my father’s secretary; Julia O’Connor. One day I was leaning back in my chair waiting for something to happen. I had just finished up my last case the day before and I didn’t know when I’d get another one. The detective business had been rather slow these past two years. Julia hadn’t come in for work yet that morning. It seemed like that had become rather usual behavior for her as of late. When it was still my father’s agency they were always busy with cases, but since I took over we haven’t had much. I consider myself a good detective, but I’m not as good as my father was and the people around here rarely ever seem to need use of one anymore. So with less work, Julia felt that she really didn’t need to be here as much as she used to. She started showing up late, leaving early and slacking off steadily more and more as time went on. Looking back on it I should have seen noticed that there was something more going on with her, but at the time I just didn’t really think very much of it. I looked up at the old photos hanging up on the wall. They were from when this was still my father’s office, pictures of him with some of his clients from over the years. The pictures were faded and sort of grainy. Cameras back then couldn’t take pictures that were as clear or vibrant as modern cameras can. But I’ve never really cared about that much though. I just liked to look up and see those reminders of my father hanging up on the wall. I’ve always missed both him and my mother ever since the accident. My attention was drawn to a picture of my father shaking hands with the mayor outside city hall. I don’t remember the details of what it was that he had done for the mayor, but it had something to do with stopping a local mob family. That had been one of his first major cases and it had greatly boosted his career. What drew my attention to the picture was that it was hanging at a slightly crooked angle. I had just gotten up to straighten it when I heard the sound of a door slam in the other room. Julia had finally shown up for work that day. She was muttering something unintelligible as she stumbled around on her way to her desk and practically fell into her chair. Her dark blonde hair was in disarray and she looked like she hadn’t gotten any sleep. I looked up from her to the clock hanging up on the far wall. It read 11:27am. The latest she had ever shown up to work. “It’s about time you finally showed up, Ms. O’Connor. I was starting to think you weren’t even going to come in today.” “You’re lucky I even come at all. It’s not like there’s any reason for me to be here.” That was definitely not the answer I expecting. Her speech seemed slightly slurred and there was a distinct bitter tone in her voice. She got up half-hazardly and stumbled her way over to me. She stopped a bit too close, almost bumping into me. I could smell her breath, which held the distinctive smell of alcohol. “Things were different when I worked for your father. We were always busy. We always had work. And now that you’re here, we’ve got nothing.” “You’re drunk.” That was all I could think to say. I had known Julia for years. She was like the big sister I never had. In all this time I had never known her to drink, especially since the accident. And I’ve never heard her complain about anything like this before. Despite her increasing laziness she seemed fine. And yet somehow, suddenly things were starting to make sense. Something had seemed off about her ever since my parents died, but I could never quite figure out what it was. I guess it must have hit her harder than I thought. Or maybe there was more going on in her life that she never let me in on. Maybe I wasn’t as good a detective as I thought, if I had never noticed this developing before, right under my nose. “Maybe I am, so what. Since when do you care? You’ve never cared. Not about me Not about anything.” I didn’t know what to say. This was all coming so suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere. One moment I was just sitting, bored, in my office; and the next moment was… this. “What are you talking about? Where is this coming from? Since when do you drink?” “I’ve been drinking for years. The fact that you didn’t know that just shows how much you never care.” I looked into her eyes. The normally beautiful, deep blue eyes were bloodshot and there were large bags under them like she hadn’t been getting enough sleep lately. She pulled a wadded up piece of paper out from her pocket and shoved it into my hand. Before I had time to react to this she turned around and stormed out the door, bumping into the doorway on the way out. “What?” I’m sure I must have looked like an idiot, standing their dumbfounded, my mouth hung open. Recomposing myself, I flattened out the paper and read what was written on it. It was a letter of resignation. Just like that I had just lost my secretary, and more importantly, my friend. I never saw Julia again. I ran out to try to talk her back to her senses but she was already gone. I’ve tried to find what happened had happened to her after that, but she knew how to cover her tracks. Working for my father for so many years had taught her how to track someone down, and how to avoid being tracked. All I has ever able to find out has that she had been evicted from her apartment the week before she left. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully get over it. I almost quit detective work after that. What kind of detective could I possibly be if I couldn’t even figure out what has happening with Julia that whole time. But I kept it up. I’ve solved every case with firm resolve. I’ve redoubled my efforts in my chosen profession. I’ve continued to search for Julia, but only in vain. There was never any trail to follow. It was as if she had fallen off the face of the Earth. I suppose I should look on the bright side. If you talk to any detective worth their salt they could tell you about “the one that got away”. It’s almost like a badge of honor, my mark as a true detective. But it never feels that way. It never has and it never will. It’s just my way of rationalizing it. It’s just my way of trying to make sense of a situation without any. The truth is that life is always changing, always throwing curveballs and never seems to make sense. You just need to move on. Just need to change with it. Next up, is the only one of these stories that was actually something completely original that I came up with in class, rather than a revival of an old idea. It's also probably my weakest, since its kind of rushed by comparison, since I didn't already have an idea of what I really wanted to do for it. Spoiler: Trapped Light shone through the canopy of the tree tops. The air was filled with the sounds of birds singing and waterfall roaring in the distance. The ruins of an ancient temple from an ancient civilization rested here, undisturbed for hundreds of years. The stone structure was run down and covered in moss and vines, but was still a sight to behold. Sailing a small wooden boat down a small river was Alwin Tresler, a man motivated primarily by two things: the pursuit of money and a sense of adventure. Those who knew him called him greedy, and he would agree. He felt it probably stemmed from his childhood. Alwin was raised by his father, a Austrian mercenary, and had grown up moving around from one war-torn country to another. From a young age he had seen the effects of poverty and had been filled with a strong need to never be like that. Alwin stepped off of his boat and onto the muddy ground. He pulled out the map he had purchased from a merchant of rare antiquities, that supposedly led to the long forgotten temple he was pursuing. According to the map the temple should be just ahead of where he was standing. He walked in the direction the map indicated and after about a mile he came to a steep cliff. Down below he could see the temple, a magnificent sight. He looked around for a way down the cliff and noticed a climbing rope hanging down. “Wunderbar,” he muttered to himself sarcastically, “somebody’s already here. At least they were nice enough to leave a way down.” Kris Garner stood outside the temple’s entrance. She looked around in awe at the ruins surrounding her. This discovery would mean wonders to the archeological society. She could only imagine the further discoveries this would lead to. She pulled out her camera and began to take pictures. She didn’t turn around when she heard a voice behind her. “I have been searching for this place for months, tracing every lead I could find, even getting my hands on the only map. But of course when I finally get here, you’re already here taking pictures.” “Don’t feel too bad, Alwin. I’ve only just gotten here myself.” “How did you get here, anyway?” “Oh, I have my ways.” “That’s not really an answer. But then again, it never is with you. By the way, you have a spider on your shoulder.” Kris brushed off her shoulder but there was no spider. She looked back of at Alwin, but he was gone. He ran inside the temple while she was distracted. “It would be nice if he could act his age for once.” Kris sighed as she headed inside herself. The temple ruins looked even more impressive from the inside. The architecture was more advanced than Kris expected and the walls all had murals painted on them, detailing the history of the temple and the ceremonies performed within. It was dark inside. There were torches along the walls, but of course they were not lit. They hadn’t been for a very long time. Kris found her way around the maze-like building using her flashlight, dropping bright red pebbles from her pouch at every turn to mark which ways she went. She eventually found herself in a large ceremonial chamber in the center of the temple. The chamber was lit through a hole in the ceiling, the light shone onto a stone altar in the center of the room. The altar was covered in dark stains. Kris guessed that the stains were blood and that it had been used for sacrifices of some kind. Next to the sacrificial altar was a pedestal with a golden idol sitting on it. And of course, there was Alwin about to take the idol. Alwin carefully picked up the idol off of the pedestal. The idol appeared to be made of solid gold and had rubies and emeralds embedded around it. Certainly it would fetch quite the price from the right buyer. He immediately regretted his decision however, when he heard the sound of falling stones behind him and a scream. Turning around he saw that the entrance to the chamber had collapsed and that Kris was kneeling down in front of it, moaning in pain. He put the idol back down and rushed to the entrance. “Meine Güte! What happened?” “You idiot! The idol was booby-trapped. Now we’re both stuck down here and-” Kris tried to stand up but immediately collapsed back down in pain and let out another scream. “-and my leg’s broken!” “How was I supposed to know? This sort of thing almost never happens.” “What are you talking about? These things are always trapped.” “I meant people being in the way when I inevitably end up setting the traps off.” “Shut up and look for another exit. There must be some other way out of here.” “Ja, of course.” Alwin started to frantically scour the room for any other way out. While Alwin was looking, Kris tried to sit up. When she managed it, she checked her leg to see how bad it was. The leg was covered in blood and she could feel the broken bone inside. She broke off the handle of a torch hanging above her and tore off her shirt sleeve to make a makeshift tourniquet. She then grabbed onto the wall and pulled herself up, making sure to put all of her wait into her good leg. She looked up and screamed yet again. Alwin was walking toward her carrying the idol and he looked as if was going to hit her with it. She raised her arms to defend herself, but he went right past her. She turned around and saw him banging the rock pile where the entrance had been with the idol. “What are you doing?” “There is no other exit. If we are to get out of here we need to get through this pile.” “But why are you using the idol?” “Would you rather I use my hands? The idol seems like the best option here.” Kris had to agree. Her bag with all her tools had been buried under the rocks, and Alwin never seemed to bring anything with him. She never could understand that. She then realized something. “But wait, if you damage the idol, you won’t be able to sell it.” “Do you really think so little of me? I may be greedy, but I’m not that greedy. My life comes first.” Alwin paused for a moment. ”Yours too, I guess. Now are you going to help, or is a broken leg enough to stop you?” Kris picked up a rock and tried to help, though she also had to hold onto the wall to steady herself and keep off of her broken leg. Eventually they managed to break their way through the rocks. Unfortunately the passageway on the other side was still pitch black. “Well, now how do we find our way back out.” Alwin wondered aloud. Kris pulled her spare flashlight out of her pocket. “You really need to be better prepared for this stuff. How are you not dead already?” “I’d say luck, mostly. And where’s the fun if you’re prepared for everything already? Also, I left my bag in my boat because I was just trying to find the temple. I wasn’t ready to explore it quite yet, but then you were here so I rushed in. Come on, I’ll help you walk.” Alwin held out his arm and Kris grabbed on to it. They put their arms around each other’s shoulders, Alwin holding up Kris to keep her off of her broken leg. They set out to leave but stopped when they came to a fork in the tunnel. Alwin looked both ways and could not tell which way to go. “Do you remember which way we came from?” Kris looked down and saw one of the stones she left earlier and pointed in its direction. “Do you really not mark which ways you go? Not being prepared for everything is one thing, but the level of shear idiocy you always seem to have is ridiculous. Are you suicidal?” Alwin did not answer. They set out in the way Kris pointed and continued their way out, Kris pointing out which ways to go. They continued talking as they went. “Why do you do what you do?” This question caught Kris by surprise. In all the years she known Alwin, he had never asked her anything about her. And his tone of voice was more somber than she was used to. “What do you mean?” “Going around, finding ruins and ancient treasures. Why do you do it? Almost every one I’ve met in our line of work does it for money, fame and glory, or adventure. I do it for all three.. But ever since we first met, I’ve never figured out why you do it.” “I guess I’ve never put much thought into why. It’s just what I’ve always wanted to do. When did we meet, anyway? It feels like so long ago I don’t even remember.” “I believe that would have been in Cairo, about 10 years ago. We were both looking for the same long-lost pyramid.” “Oh, right. I remember that now. I was still just starting out then. I think I see the way out.” Sure enough, they reached the temple’s entrance and stepped outside. And then they were hit with the sudden reminder that they still had to get back up the cliff. “Well, the climbing rope’s still there.” Said Alwin, “I guess, I’ll climb up and then pull you up.” “That sounds like it could work.” And so Alwin climbed up the robe to the top and Kris grabbed on. Alwin pulled her up while Kris tried her best to hold on. Eventually they both reached the top. They took a moment to rest before hiking back to Alwin’s boat. The boat was only built for one passenger, but they managed to both fit in and sail off back to the nearest town. They managed to get Kris to a hospital where she got her leg properly treated. When she was finally healed, Alwin had already left. A few days later she got a package in the mail. Inside was an ancient necklace that looked like it came from the temple and a note. Kris picked up the note and read it aloud. “I found this and thought that you could use it more than me. -A. T.” She thought to herself that maybe she misjudged Alwin all these years. And then she checked the other side of the note. “By the way, I do expect you to pay me back for the damaged idol and saving your life.” And just like that the feeling was gone. She crumpled up the paper and threw it away. And finally, we have my personal favorite. I've been wanting to do my own version of the Arthurian mythos for a long time, but with so many adaptations of the old stories already around, how could I make my version seem original and stand out? Why, throw in other myths and legends, of course, particularly Norse mythology. I'm planning on making a whole series from before Arthur finds the Sword in the Stone to after his death, and I decided to flesh out one of the few scenes I already had planned into this final short story, Arthur's death. Or rather, shortly after his death. Spoiler: Death and New Beginnings Avalon was once considered an island of breathtaking beauty, often heralded as the land of the fairies. That beauty was no longer there. An invading army from the south tried to conquer the land of England and their king, Arthur Pendragon led an army to defend their land. The final battle between the two forces was held on Avalon. The fighting permanently scarred the once great landscape. In a clearing once filled with beautiful flowers of all colors there was now a field of bodies, those who had lost their lives in the fray. Above the dead was the ghostly figure of a man floating in the air. He looked around in horror at the carnage around him. His army had won the battle and the survivors had already returned home, but many had not made it. The sight of those he knew filled him with sorrow and he even found his own body, limp and lifeless on the ground. The ghost was none other than King Arthur himself. He had led his army into battle but had not made it through himself. He had been slain by the sword of his own nephew, the son of his step-sister. Whether it was an act of betrayal or an accident he did not know. And it no longer mattered. A blinding beam of light shone down through the stormy clouds up above. Arthur tried to shield his eyes from it, but it was no use. He could see through his own hands. There was a being enveloped in the light. It appeared to be a woman in armor of a foreign design that Arthur did not recognize. She also seemed to have large white wings behind her. “Arthur Pendragon,” her voice seemed human enough, “you have fought nobly and bravely, and you have been deemed worthy of a place in the halls of Valhalla.” “Who are you? What are you talking about?” Arthur was mildly surprised he was able to talk in his present form. “My name is Sigrun. I am a Valkyrie in the service of Lord Odin, the All-Father. He has sent me here to bring you to His domain of Valhalla where you will serve alongside the greatest warriors in history as part of His army, the Einherjar.” “I still don’t understand what you’re talking about.” Sigrun held out her hand. “If you come with me than all will be explained in time.” Arthur grabbed her hand and there was a bright flash of light. Suddenly he found himself in front of a large golden tree. Sigrun was standing next to him. The wings that she had earlier were now gone and Arthur noticed that he had a physical body again. “Welcome to Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain. Lord Odin has requested to great you personally. Please follow me and I will serve as your guide on the way there.” Arthur followed Sigrun as she showed him around. The more he saw the more magnificent this place seemed. Golden buildings greater than any palace he had ever seen were spread out among lush, green fields. The sky above was a deep blue and filled with white clouds. Sigrun explained what each building was as they passed them. Eventually they went into the largest of the buildings, in the very center of the area. Arthur was shocked at who he saw inside. Sitting in a throne at the end of a large, empty dining table was an elderly-looking man. He had long white hair and a beard to match. He was dressed in old robes and a pointed, wide-brimmed hat. Covering his left eye was a leather eyepatch. Arthur was not sure what to think. Before him was Odin, the king of the gods and master of this world, but Arthur already knew him by a different name. “Merlin?” The god smiled at Arthur and answered to his other name. “Yes. I am Merlin.” “But, why are you here? The Valkyrie said you were Odin. What’s going on?” “The truth is complicated. Like all of my kind I was fated to die in the event we call Ragnarok. In order to escape my fate I fled to your land where I took up the identity of Merlin. I became the court magician under your father, King Uther Pendragon. I held that position for many years before his passing.” “And that’s when you found me.” “Yes. Your father had no apparent heir, but I used my magic to find you, his long-lost son, and appoint you the new king. You know what happened after that.” “Wait, you said that you ‘were’ fated to die. And you’re here now. What changed?” “Fate caught up to me. Or should I say, Fenrir caught up to me.” “What do you mean?” “My people have had their fate sealed. We were all prophesied to die in the event we call Ragnarok. I was destined to be devoured by the great wolf Fenrir. I thought that if I went into hiding, that he would never find me and that I would prevent the extinction of my race. I was wrong. He arrived in Camelot shortly after you left for the war and I sacrificed myself to him to protect your country. I returned here shortly before you arrived, now one of the dead myself.” Arthur did not know what to say to that, so he just stood there until Odin resumed speaking. “I have not explained this place to you yet. Welcome to Valhalla. This is a place where the greatest warriors, heroes and rulers in history gather after death to train for future battles, battles that will define the future of all worlds and redefine the true meaning of war. In the meantime, Einherjar are free to do whatever they please.” “What’s an Einherjar? Sigrun used that term too.” “Einherjar means “once fighters” it is the term we use to refer to the dead soldiers here. I understand this is all hard to process. I recommend that you sit down and eat. You have a very long time to learn.” Odin gestured towards Sigrun who had pulled out a chair further down the table. Arthur walked towards her and noticed that the chair was made of gold and had his name engraved on it. He sat down and began thinking about all that he had just learned. It felt to him like everything he ever knew was a lie and it took a long time for him to process. He was eventually snapped out of his thoughts by the smell of food. He looked up and realized that the dining hall was now full of people waiting to eat. Valkyries started walking in with large platers of food. A bowl of stew was placed in front of him that had the familiar smell of roasted boar. Arthur had always thought that hunger was something that went away after death but at that moment he realized how hungry he was. When he finished eating he looked around. These were the greatest leaders and warriors in history and he had earned his place among them. If I decide to add any more stories to this collection, I'll put them here in this first post, so feel free to post any comments, questions, input, thoughts, critiques or whatever you want.