Anything worth doing will have struggles. But anything worth the struggle is worth doing ~ Megan Finsel

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Once Upon the End

    Clang! Sword crashed on sword!
    Clash! Light flashed off saber!
    Hsssss! Her blade passed through the villain with whom she was grappling and the creature shattered into a cloud of smoke! Its weapon dropped submissively to the ground.
    There she stood, legs braced, hands shaking on the hilt, watching as the ogre who had snuck up out of nowhere drifted off into wisps of vapor. And another falls! Triumphantly she grinned at the place he'd stood, marked by two enormous foot prints denting the grass. Only when she realized the area was secure did she slowly straighten and sheathe her sword.
    Each one seems bigger than the last, but they all eventually fall. She thought as, bending, she picked up the ogre’s twisted blade; a battle keepsake. She held the weapon - which was of obvious elfin style - to the sun and smiled, watching a beam of light trace down the sharply honed edge. With each passing sun there be fewer and fewer foes to fight, she tipped the weapon, caught a flash of green bough and broad blue sky, and with each passing sun, I grow stronger!
    Just then… what was that reflected in the blade?
    She swung around.
    That’s it!
    It was the rise of a hill behind her!
    At last, I’m here!
    Fixing her newly won prize to her saddle she grabbed the reins, swung aboard, and they spun to face the hillside.
    Trotting to the tune of saddle leather creaking and her sword clanking in its scabbard, she thought as they ascended: this is it! This is what I have been seeking all these long months!
    Around her the dark, forbidden pine forest (which stretched for miles in untamed terrain) began to fall away, taking with it those endlessly long nights and horribly hot days, those numerous battles she fought as she sought to vanquish this land from the wrath of Trolls, Ogres, Typos and Witches. All of it! Fell away behind her as her horse carried her seemingly up into the sky.
    I knew I was nearing the end! She mused. Now I'm so close to victory I can feel it!
    Indeed, the weeks, no, months, she’d spent here were coming to a close, for the harder she worked in these forbidden woods the more she realized there were fewer Mis-Takes to fight. And now I am homeward bound!
    She was so close, too close to give up! She couldn’t. She wouldn’t! Even though every fiber of her exhausted being begged her to stop…
    And then (finally!) her horse topped the rise and they pulled up out of the forest to stand atop a grassy outcropping and, turning her eyes into the setting sunlight, she caught her breath. At last! She could see it…
    The Palace!
    Below her lay the city tucked away in its peaceful valley; the tiled rooftops of the neatly arranged houses stained a burnt sienna, each window shimmering like fairies’ wings in the final light of the setting sun as, behind it all, rising proud and tall, casting its shadow across half the valley stood the golden Palace of Met’a-Phor!
    She sighed, I am nearly home!
    All those long hours of study and practice, all those grueling days spent in battle fighting beast after beast, going hand-to-hand, hilt-to-hilt with whatever foe did cross her path, all that time she spent warring with the countryside, the enemies, and her own doubts, all of it suddenly came crashing against her then in the forms of great rays from the setting sun. She lifted her face and smiled, her heart beating desperately inside her chest as she watched the light glinting off the Palace windows, beacons beckoning her home.
    Well, she drew in a deep breath; my mission here is completed, and even though her heart ached at the thought she knew this rough draft was at last finished! A happily ever...
    Suddenly, from behind she heard a sound; a dark, threatening sound like the growl of a bridge-going type beast. Slowly, the knight turned in her saddle and stared down the hillside into the depths of the dark-riddled forest.
    Her heart started pounding.
    And so begins…
    Slowly she unsheathed her sword.
    The once upon a time of the second daft!