Saturday, January 11, 2014

Griefstruck God

(I took a flash-fiction writing challenge put down here by Chuck Wendig, whose work I haven't yet read but love his blog about writing and life. The challenge was to randomly generate two words to form the title for the story you will write. I rolled the dice and got "Griefstruck God", so here it is.)

Griefstruck God

It’s said He came with a fury unimaginable by mortal minds. He swept cities into the sea and buried them within the earth. He torched entire forests and leveled mountains. The world shook to his emotions….

The knight rode through the deserted streets of a once-great city. His torch flared, lighting the area around him. A few buildings stood but most were leveled, as if by a giant hand, not even leaving debris behind. Decimated.

His horse stepped over bits of rubble and debris, bones of those who had lived in this place.

There was no sound in the great cavern in which the city now rested, having been buried beneath the earth long ago.

The knight pressed on, toward the heart of the city.

A sound turned his head. He swept the torch and turned his horse.

Footsteps, padding slowly in his direction.

He drew his sword.

A figure emerged into the light, shuffling forward, thin and hunched like an old man. Gray hair hung in streaks from his head and a filthy beard stuck out from his chin. Rags covered pale flesh.

“Why?” the ragged figure asked. “Why do you disturb me?” The figure lifted a finger and fire shot out, streaking by the knight’s helm.

The horse stepped, nervous.

“I come to remind you,” the knight spoke, boldly.

“Remind me?” The old man chuckled. He clapped his hands and a lightning bolt struck the ground in front of the knight.

The horse reared, throwing the knight to the uneven cobblestones and took off, running into the darkness.

The torch hit the ground and sputtered, going out, plunging the knight into darkness.

The knight stood, slowly, holding his sword in front of him. “I come to remind you of those who worship you. You hold responsibility for-”

“RESPONSIBILITY?” The roar came, a wind hurtling into the knight and sending him stumbling back.

A wraith gripped the knight’s neck, choking him. He swept the hand away and slashed the wraith into nothingness. “You neglect your duties!” The knight called.


Fire erupted from the blackness.

The knight dove to the side.

A torrent of flame, seemingly endless, rushed past.

“You did, and thus, you are responsible. You’re people are dying,” the knight said.

Another laugh, out of the dark. “What of them? Insignificant. Do you not know I slaughtered thousands myself? Perhaps I need to come again, perhaps it is you all who need the reminder. I DEMAND TO BE LEFT ALONE!”

Lightning slammed into the knight, hurling him through a wall.

He lay there in rubble, stunned.

“I grow tired of this,” the voice came, weary. “I no longer care. Come to me and there shall be consequences. Before you decide, consider how much pain a God can inflict. You cannot imagine, mortal.” The voice faded.

The knight emerged from the building he’d been thrown into, light springing out of nowhere, illuminating the ghostly city in a ghostly blue.

The horse came trotting up, breathing hard and eyes wild.

The knight slapped it’s rump and set it off back in the direction they’d come. He looked at the sword in his hand and dropped it to the ground. He started walking towards the center of the city, a great temple that loomed above all, stretching nearly to the cavernous ceiling above.

Lightning flashed in front of him, shattering stones.

He ignored it.

Walls of flame burst into existence in front of him, and disappeared the moment before he reached them.
Giant bears and animals attacked him, each missing and fading to nothingness before touching him.

He came to the steps of the temple and walked up, boots ringing against the stone the only sound in the giant tomb.

He found the old man within the temple, standing next to a stone casket.

“Still, you come,” the old man snarled, turning, his eyes burning. “Before you die and doom your entire kind to nonexistence, tell me why.”

The knight took off his helm and dropped it to the ground. “Your people need you.”

A force slammed into the knight’s gut, sending him to his knees. “My people,” the old man said. “Those I made from nothing, formed into being, those I helped grow into a powerful civilization, those I allowed my daughter to live with because she wished to, those, of whom she became one because she loved you so, those who killed her.”

Tentacles ripped through the floor and wrapped around the knight’s wrists, thorns growing and digging into his skin.

The knight cried out in pain.

“Yes. Feel it, for it is nothing compared to my torment,” the old man stepped up to the knight.

“It was...a mistake,” the knight said. “A mistake...a hundred years ago…”

“A hundred years?” The God screamed.

The knight winced in pain, unable to cover his ears.

“A hundred years may be more than a lifetime to you, mortal, but it is NOTHING to me!”

The knight saw himself growing old, dying. Saw his body rot and turn to dust, to nothingness. He saw it a hundred times, saw himself die a thousand ways.

“I never should have let her walk among you,” the God whispered.

“You couldn’t have stopped her,” the knight gasped, struggling to stand. “You did not control her, no one could.”

“How do you know…” The God said, looking closer at the knight’s face. “You,” he said. “How have you lived this long?”
“I do not know,” the knight said, standing, ripping the tentacles out of the floor. “A curse, perhaps, for loving the daughter of a God.”

The God struck him across the face with his fist.

The knight flew into the wall.

The God looked at his fist. “Yes,” he said. “I see why you mortals tend to use your own hands. It feels...better.”

“Kill me if you must but it will not bring her back,” the knight said, staggering to stand. “She made her choice, not you.”

The God appeared in front of the knight, dagger in hand held to the knight’s throat. “I’ve never done it like this before,” The God said. “Spilling a mortal’s blood like this, so primal, so primitive. I wonder how it will feel.”

The knight smacked the dagger away.

The God didn’t move, eyes wide, as if in disbelief at what the mortal just did.

“It was not your fault,” the knight said and embraced the God.

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