Part two Mid-world writings  

Posted by The Alchemist in


He raised his hand to his brow. The sun was bright and it hurt his eyes to look outside. He keep wanting to close them. He cast his eyes around surveying this strange new place. Surrounding the little stable was a great desert, cracked arid soil stretching as far as the eye could see in either direction. The ground outside the stable was fenced in by some tired old railing made of wood. To the left of the stables stood an old house, probably some sort of inn where travelers could take some rest from the long desert road. It all looked like it had abandoned long ago.


He made his way across the yard to the house and tried the door.

It was unlocked.

His boots clicked on the old wood floors of the place as he walked in. The floor was covered in dirt grown over the ages, his feet were the first here in a long time, though they would not be the last.

A search of the above ground level revealed nothing of use, though he sat a while and chatted with a long gone man, whose bones glinted white (white) on the floor, in the shafts of light coming through one of the worn down walls. He talked of nothing in particular, only of the weather, and how he didn’t like the heat. The dead man seemed to agree.

He did find, however, a ladder leading down to an old root cellar. Looking down into the dark made him shiver, and his hair stood on edge. At the edges of his hearing he could hear faint whispers, spoken too low to comprehend. All this made him nervous, but there was nowhere else to go. He slowly made his way down the ladder.

“Jackpot”, he murmured.

Down here there were shelves, shelves covered in enough canned good to feed a small army. He couldn’t believe the luck, stranded in the middle of the desert in an old inn that probably had the only food for miles.

(bright white)

He grabbed a few cans of something called Girt; (He was surprised he could read the letters though they were a bit off, a little crooked somehow.) they reminded him of spam cans, and more importantly they had little pull rings to remove the can top without a can opener, and a few cans of what looked liked canned corn by the cans label and went back upstairs. Being down here gave him the creeps.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery  

Posted by The Alchemist in

How the devil do you get this thing to tab over, anyone know? Anyway. I've been reading through the next the Dark Tower tales, Wolves of the Calla, and it inspired me to write this. I hope Stephen King would approve.


He awoke to stillness. No wind blew. No creature stirred. He felt damp, damp from sweat. The air about him was hot but the ground beneath him was cool. And he was dead.

“Why am I dead?”

No one answered his unspoken question.

He knew he was dead, but he didn’t feel dead. He opened his eyes.

He was in a building because there was a mixture of light and dark. Above his head it was dark, but light shone through an open doorway warming his legs. His chest was swathed in shadow, and was cooler. The ceiling was slanted, wooden rafters ran to his right and left holding it all up. He could feel the cool pull of concrete beneath his open palms, could recognize its smooth polished texture.

He sat up. The creaking of his blue jeans and old flannel shirt were the first sounds he heard besides his own breathing. To his right and left he could see old stalls filled with hay. The place was some sort of old stables.

A smile began to tug at his lips. This was certainly not hell, at least not yet. He’d never been a church going man. It looked like The Old Man in the Sky wasn’t going to have his way with him after all. His face darkened then. Maybe this was the Old Man’s idea of a joke. If it was he hadn’t heard the punch line yet.

Boots. He was wearing boots, old and scuffed. He’d never owned a pair of boots like these. They looked like something John Wayne might have worn in one of those old westerns. For that matter he had never owned a shirt or a pair of pants like these either, yet they all fit him well enough. They seemed right somehow.

“Why am I dead?”

The question came back, still unanswered. He couldn’t remember, just knew it to be true. He was as dead as he was alive. Standing, he gave his body a once over. Not a scratch nor a bruise, but he knew there should have been.

Near the back of the room was a machine mounted on a raised concrete pad. The rest of the place had a worn, forlorn look to it, but this thing looked brand new. Sticking out from one side was a pipe which hung over an open drain. Water colored the floor a darker shade of grey where it hadn't quite dried up yet. It seemed to have been used recently. On the top of the machine was a small red button labeled “On”.

When he pressed the button he heard a click and then a cycling sound, thud-THUD, thud-THUD, thud-THUD. Water came out cold and refreshing, and he drank his fill. His long sleep had made him thirsty.

“What is this place?” he wondered. "Why am I here?"

He walked back over to the entrance of the stables. Only time would tell.

Part eight  

Posted by The Alchemist in

It was late by the time Anias trudged into Hillsboro. Weary from the journey Anias walked slowly down the main street of the small hamlet and made his way towards the Traveler’s Rest, a tavern were he would bed down for the night. In an alley on the right hand of the street a man watched him from the shadows.

After Anias passed the mouth of the alley the man emerged and began to follow Anias down the street, and moved quickly to catch up.

“Anias, son of Hal?” the man asked, his speech terse.

Anias turned around slowly, and looked the man up and down. He was most likely a farmer. He was covered from head to foot in dirt, and his cloths were torn and worn, hardly enough to keep him warm in the middle of winter. The man looked pale and his lips were blue, he must have been standing outside for some time. He didn’t seem to mind being so cold, as he stood there without shivering or chattering his teeth.

“Excuse me, have we met?” Anias asked cautiously. Something about the way the man was looking at him made him nervous.

Anias extended his hand.

“You seem to have me somewhat at a disadvantage, you are?”

The man made no reply, he only stood there staring savagely at Anias, his breathing heavy as if he had been hard at work.

Anias waited a moment for the man to say something. Trying to stay calm he continued on, dropping his hand back to his side.

“Well, whatever your business is with me friend, let us speak about it indoors, it is cold out here. Come, I will buy you a drink.”

Anias turned and headed towards the tavern. Hopefully there would be other people in the tavern. Anias kept his head turned slightly to the left so he could keep an eye on the man out of the corner of his eye. After he had walked fifteen feet the other man began to follow. Anias turned his head back towards the tavern satisfied with the distance between himself and the stranger.

The stranger followed behind slowly at first. From under the folds of his shirt he drew a dagger. With each step he moved faster until he was running at Anias, his face contorted with a bizarre mixture of glee and rage.

The man was close by the time Anias heard him and turned just in time to see him leap in the air dagger raised above his head. As the man fell through the air Anias raised his hand and muttered a few words, and shut his eyes tight. Brilliant white light exploded from his hand making the dark street bright as day. Stunned the stranger tumbled onto Anias knocking both men to the ground; the stranger rolled off Anias, moaning and rubbing his eyes.

Anias got to his feet and clumsily drew his sword. As he did this he backed as quickly as he could towards the tavern, keeping his eyes on the stranger, who was struggling to his feet and wiping tears from his eyes. The stranger looked back and forth several times before his eyes focused on Anias. He snarled and bent over feeling on the ground for his dagger. Once it was in hand again he charged. Anias stopped backing up and raised his sword above his head. When the man came close Anias stepped towards the right away from the mans knife hand and swung the flat of his blade at the side of the man’s head. The stranger was not quick enough to duck and Anias’ sword connected with a resounding THWACK. The stranger crumpled to the ground and did not stir. Blood trickled from the wounded skin and mingled with the snow.

Anias turned and ran toward the tavern for help.

Part Seven  

Posted by The Alchemist in

A man sat alone upon a green hill, leaning on his blood spattered shield. He sat overlooking a field filled with the day’s grizzly work, a battle, and now it was just another graveyard. As he sat he wondered who had won this day, perhaps only the crows for whom his comrades had become a feast. Men had fought and died here today for their lords, and for what? All they had risked had been for a man that hardly knew them. At least he risked his skin for gold crowns, something he could hold onto after the fighting was over.

There was something about sitting amongst the dead that made him thoughtful. Perhaps it gave him time to reflect on his own mortality. Most things made a lot more sense in that light.

Land was what they had fought for today, and by the gods they had it. “Look at them littered all over it”, he muttered to himself. More land so some noblemen could have more prestige, and more servants, and more crops. Several of those men had been his friends. There was no rule that a sellsword couldn’t have friends. He pictured Lord Edderfield Clark at that moment, and how satisfying it would be to run the pudgy coward through with his blade. Now there was a cause worth fighting for. At least his friends would be able to rest easy then.

He’d nearly died himself in the fighting. After the initial cavalry charge Clark had send in a quarter of his foot in to keep Count Olsen’s men distracted, and as his precious knights had ridden away Clark ordered his archers to volley the field until Olsen’s men were all dead.

His horse had been cut from under him earlier and so he had had to survive as best he could, along with the rest of the poor foot soldiers. He’d been under his shield half the battle trying to keep the arrows off his back. As the battle disintegrated into more of a frightened mob of men trying each to save himself, Conall had hidden himself beneath his fallen horse. Between his horse’s body and his shield he had stayed safe till the battle was over.

Conall had fought in many battles over the years and looking down at dead and dying vowed this was his last. He’d earned enough money that he would never have to go looking for work like this again. His reputation as a swordsman was great enough that perhaps he could retire and become an instructor or a body guard, anything but this. It just wasn’t worth it anymore. Long ago when he had been young he had left home looking for his fortune, for purpose, and for glory. All he had found were petty kings and tyrants each looking to himself. All the old heroes had faded away an age ago and left in their stead quarreling boys. He would give them his sword no longer. None of them deserved it.

Part six  

Posted by The Alchemist in

The surface of the lake which Anias sat next to was frozen solid, and a light dusting of snow blew across its surface. For the last few minutes he had been watching the weather. He knew little about weather patterns but to him it looked like a big storm was blowing in from out of the north. From here he could see the surface compound that led down into the old college of sorcery. Its white marble walls lay in ruin, and past them in the middle of a courtyard an old fountain could be seen. It had taken him several hours of searching through rubble when he had first arrived there to find a way down into the college itself, the main entrance had partially collapsed.

If the storm was going to be a blizzard it would probably be the first heavy snow, making travel much harder. If he didn’t go now, the snow would be a lot higher the next time he tried. It would only take him half a days hike to make it to the great pine forest not far to the south west, and once there he would be secluded from the icy winds of the storm. On the other hand getting caught out in a blizzard didn’t really seem like all that good of an idea either.

Having made up his mind Anias stood, shouldered his pack and began to make his way towards Hillsboro. The storm seemed far away for the time being.

The going was slow. The snow was already a foot deep and it was no task for an old man. It was nightfall before he reached the safety of the woods. Once there he set himself up a camp and shelter. Searching through the trees he gathered deadwood and pine branches with his hatchet. Pine branches made for a great shelter, and insulation, and dry needles would make for a good fire starter. Finding the dry needles took some digging through the snow but they were there. Even with those things it was a long cold night.

The blizzard hit in the night, blanketing the land in several feet of snow before morning, and just as quickly as it had arrived, it was gone. The hiking once Anias returned to the open plain was miserable.

The next few days passed slowly, though there were a lot of things to occupy his thoughts and his time. Getting supplies to the academy was going to be a problem. He really didn’t want to reveal its position to the world, and if he brought a wagon driver and some muscle to move boxes along with him, word was sure to get out about such a marvelous place. He supposed near his death he would tell someone about what he had found but until then he wanted the place to himself. He didn’t think he could get several months worth of supplies back to the academy by himself.

The second problem was the well itself. Something seemed to be wrong with it. Why would someone engineer a place to make such a peculiar vibrating sound? It permeated the whole compound, and it would have driven him nuts. Perhaps if the well had been drawing in energy from its surroundings for so long without having energy drawn from it, it had become too full, it contained too much energy. Even if all that was true, great, so what was he supposed to do about it? Its not like he could make it all magically disappear. Well, okay, maybe he could magically make it disappear, so to speak, but he had no idea as to how.

Regardless of what he was going to do about the other things Anias firmly resolved to get a pair of those snow shoes, it had been bad foresight on his part to venture up here without them.