So first story in a while.
Today’s story, “The Last Spirit Warrior,” is my take on a flash fiction fantasy story. It’s actually quite difficult to write fantasy within such a tight space. I’ve self-edited it three times and I still feel like it’s missing something. Nevertheless, hope you enjoy it!
Also, I’ll be doing a change to the layout of the blog, so please be patient with me while I do that. I have found my current layout is a bit too restrictive for reading past posts. 🙂
The Last Spirit Warrior
The obsidian goblins, faces horrified and motionless, stared upon us as we continued our trek. As a young one, I could have sworn I heard their chatter through the catacombs. These ghosts of the long dead would give me night terrors until my father finally allowed me to into the Ritual of Spirits.
The sound of water trickled from the stalactites around us. I could hear the tiny shuffle of feet, but the echo of the water dropping muted all else. The sulfuric scent in the cavern was masked slightly by the amber crystal I carried in my hand.
I stopped at a fork in the cave and turned to the young ones behind me. For our yearly pilgrimage, we all would take the path to the right, warning the young ones to never take the left. Once every few years, one young one would dare it. They would not return. It was a lesson that none would forget.
I smiled as I walked toward the left corridor. Their faces bespoke no fear, but their posture was rigid and some had clenched fists. My mate nodded to me at the end of the group and ushered the young ones towards me.
“Trista ugar nabulosum. Trista ugar nabulosum,” my mate and I chanted.
The ritual had begun. Our amber lit up showering light upon the spirits surrounding our party. All benevolent beings, but we had entered their land. Without the chant, without the amber, we would be lost here.
A shriek echoed through the cave like none I had heard before. The spirits shrank away. The eyes of the young ones widened.
“Tavykha,” I heard my name called. I looked back upon Tavi, but she shook her head.
I followed the path as always I had.
We had reached the throne room. Here the spirits did not enter. Here we could complete the remainder of our Ritual. With the young ones inside, Tavi closed the door and we circled the perimeter – our chants lighting the chamber. The group gasped as they saw the old remnants of the Troll Dynasty before them. Skulls of beasts lined the walls, our sigil hung over the throne, and in the centre of the circular room was a raised platform which held a fountain.
The door to the chamber rattled, making the young ones jump. From behind the door, I could hear my name again. I just continued to try and ignore it. Spirits were not allowed to speak with the living.
I walked to the fountain and ushered the young to sit down in front of me. Then I placed my hand inside the fountain and drank from my cupped hand.
“Long ago our troll ancestors lived in this cave,” I began.
“One Winter, the Obsidian Basilisk could see our people dying and invited us into the cave to live until summer returned,” Tavi said.
“The basilisk protected us from our enemies, the goblins, and turned any that entered into obsidian.”
“The troll dynasty lived within this corridor and built this throne room for our Troll-king. But after a whole winter in here, the Troll-king started to show signs of madness.”
“The basilisk realized that we could not see what she could see, and fed one of us her milk.”
“That’s when the first Spirit Warrior was born, and he saw what was causing the king to go mad.”
“The cave was touching the underworld,” I said.
“And the spirits were maddening the king.”
“So the basilisk and the first spirit warrior made a pact. The Spirit Warrior would protect all peoples from the spirits, and the basilisk would stop any spirits from speaking to the living. If ever they did, she would turn their spirit to obsidian.”
“And thus we have remained protected since.”
“The amber and the chant stop us from losing our way during the ritual.”
“And the ritual of drinking from the milk helps us to see and protect if ever required.”
The door rattled once more. Voices echoed within.
“Tavykha!” I heard.
“The basilisk is dead!” another cried.
“The pact is broken!”
Suddenly the door swung open.
Jumping over the fountain and the young ones, I readied my weapon and swung at the spirits pouring through the door. With a cry, Tavi pulled out her blade and joined me at the door, swinging her blade from foe to foe. But as we kept swinging, the spirits kept coming in. One after another, our group cried as their souls were ripped from their bodies.
“RUN!” I cried as I pushed through the door, grabbing Tavi’s hand. The underworld was spilling out. We had to warn the others. Tavi and I hacked our way through the mob, but still they pulled on our souls.
Tavi shrieked, and I looked back as she released her grip on my hand and crumbled to the ground. 6 spirits were around her. I could see as they pulled her spirit out. Crying out, I slashed away, but it wasn’t enough. My mate was gone.
I felt many more spirits pull around me, but I ignored them all. The entrance with the obsidian goblins was ahead and therefore the exit to the cave.
I was halfway down the expanse when I realized something was wrong. The goblins. They weren’t there. I could hear the screams of the trolls outside. I looked back and saw the faces of my family and friends as their souls entered the underworld.
I couldn’t let the underworld spill out of this cave, though. I leapt to the stalactites and smashed my amber into it. The spirit stone exploded against the igneous surface. The stalactite gave way and took me with it. As the ceiling caved in, the cavern shook. The lights dimmed, but I was able to still see my actions throughout the whole of the cavern. The dead would remain trapped here, me included.
My task complete, I smiled as I let the darkness envelope me.