1. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Northeast England

    Winner, muscle979 & Sackninja! Short Story Contest 121: Reluctant Hero

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Lemex, Nov 12, 2012.

    A Hero too soon (518 words)

    “Where are we going?”
    “I'm bringing you to fulfill your destiny.”
    “What do I have to do?”
    “Well a prophecy foretold that you would save the world from a vampire scourge.”
    “So your telling me that I have to save the world?”
    “Well, yes.”
    “Because a prophecy foretold it.”
    “Because it did.”
    “So you expect me to save the world?”
    “Yes, what’s so strange about that?”
    “Well I'm six.”
    “Ah, yes, that little inconvenience.”
    “Didn't you say the prophecy predicted this would happen in the year 2020?”
    “The prophecy didn't say that.”
    “So what did it say?”
    “It said it would happen in 2021.”
    “And it's 2012.”
    “I'll admit it is a little early but well will make due.”
    “How do you this the the correct vampire scourge anyway?”
    “How do you know this isn't some mini vampire scourge and the prophecy was talking about one in 2021?”
    “Well this one seems pretty serious.”
    “How many vampires are there.”
    “Well we don't how many there are. In fact we've never even seen one. But there has been some deaths and eye witness reports.”
    “So we don't know how many vampires we're up against.”
    “No and you're up against actually.”
    “What what?”
    “You're sending me in alone?”
    Well the prophecy said you'd fight them alone.”
    “So you're sending a six year old to fight some vampires by myself?”
    “You're being serious?”
    “Oh God you're being serious.”
    “Of course I am.”
    “I hate you.”
    “I don't think you do.”
    “Oh trust me I do.”
    “No you're being silly, six year olds are silly.”
    “I can't be silly, I have to save the world.”
    “That's the spirit.”
    “I was being sarcastic.”
    “Six year olds can be sarcastic?”
    “Yeah they can.”
    “Oh well that's good. We're almost there.”
    “So what kind of weapon do I get?”
    “Well I assumed there was weapon for me in that bag.”
    “And you are right.”
    “So what is it? A silver sword?”
    “No, that would work on werewolves though.”
    “A wooden stake?”
    “So what is it?”
    “Well it's a bag full of garlic.”
    “Great, so do I have to run up to them and hit them with it?”
    “Well we figured you'd throw it at them. That's why I brought a full bag.”
    “Why do I have to kill them with garlic?”
    “Because that's what the property said you would kill them with.”
    “Well this is just great.”
    “I know it is.”
    “Once again, I was being sarcastic.”
    “Oh right I forgot you could be sarcastic.”
    “Hey is that where we're going.”
    “Does it look like it is where we are going?”
    “Yes probably.”
    “And you are right.”
    “That's way to close for comfort.”
    “I feel sorry for you, but you should probably go alone from here.”
    “Do I have to?”
    “Yes, I'm afraid you do.”

    Two days later at the castle of the ancients.
    “So are only hope to save us in a vampire scourge in 2021 is dead.”
    “What, how.”
    “Well as it turns out we sent him up against werewolves with garlic.”
  2. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Northeast England
    The Night in the Park [1674 words]

    John exited his office building several hours late, at ten o’clock in the evening to be exact. Tax time tended to keep accountants busy and John was no exception. Often he took a taxi home but this particular spring night was cool and breezy. John decided to take a long walk and cut through the park on the way to his apartment building. He thought the exercise could do him good, especially being that he was now officially middle-aged and pudgy. John’s doctor had let him know that his body composition was trending towards that of an early heart attack candidate. He thought perhaps he could make this walk an evening ritual, even going as far as to brave the heat of the summer when the time came around.

    John started down the street noticing that things were much slower than they were when he usually came out around six. As he moved closer to the city’s park he noticed the smell of blooming flowers and freshly cut grass in the crisp air. A smile crossed John’s face. John did not generally have a lot to smile about. He had no wife, no children, and not many friends to speak of. John was an intelligent man and very talented with numbers but felt he must have been taking a sick day when social skills and dashing good looks had been handed out. To him the task of sustaining a friendly conversation was more daunting than the most complicated of tax returns. It wasn’t that he didn’t like other people, he just couldn’t figure out how to regularly interact with them. He was not a lover nor was he a fighter. He was an introvert and to be otherwise would have required a Herculean effort that he never felt comfortable putting forth.

    John advanced through the park. It was more quiet than any other time he had been there. He had passed a couple of homeless people but had not seen much else. There were multiple lighted trails that ran through the park, all of the trails intersected in the center and then went off in separate directions. John moved through the center of the park along a trial that ran north/south. He approached a part of the trail where two consecutive street lights were out. As he approached the darkened portion he jumped as a raccoon scurried off into a wooded area. John unconsciously picked up his pace and lengthened his gait as he passed through the shadowed area. When he emerged into the light again he noticed a girl about half a football field in front of him. The girl was speed walking and was heading in his direction. She was young, probably barely old enough to drink John thought, and looked to be pretty attractive. John continued to observe the approaching girl. The closer she came the more beautiful she appeared to him. There were many attractive girls in the city and John like most others saw them pretty regularly. This girl was different. He didn’t know if it was her youth or something completely different but for the first time in his life he felt the sensation of being struck by the beauty of another. The girl was physically attractive but to John there seemed to be something more than that. John felt like he was looking upon something higher than simple human beauty. Even from a distance he noticed blue eyes that seemed to be plucked from a heavenly body. Her form was the sleekness of a sports car and the majesty of a mountain wrapped into one.

    As the girl approached John instinctively looked towards the ground. Eye contact was something else John didn’t do well. After a couple of seconds he fought his impulse and looked back up. The girl returned his gaze and smiled at him. The smile was warm and almost seemed to emit light. It was not a smile that was smiled in an attempt to gain something or a smile that was smiled for the sake of deception. No, this beautiful creature was being kind to John for no reason at all. John felt as if he had received a wonderful gift. No birthday card or bottle of cologne could match this gift. The girl passed and John almost immediately felt a degree of sadness. He felt it in his gut, the knowledge that he would never see this girl again. That he could never regularly be in the presence of someone like this.

    John continued on, staring ahead and trying to burn the image of the kind girl’s smile into his long term memory. He noticed something shiny in the dirt in front of him and knelt down. It was a small stud earring that had caught the light just the right way to catch his eye. It must have belonged to the girl. John decided immediately to go back and give the girl this earring. He knew that he and the girl would never be friends and certainly not anything more but even a few more moments in her presence would be worth it. He swung around and headed back to where he had come from. He didn't see the girl down the trail anywhere. He continued, wondering if she had already made it to the center of the park and diverted her course in a different direction. John again came to and entered the shadowed area on the trail. He was perplexed and was afraid that he had missed his opportunity to see her again.

    John heard a rustling behind the bushes to his left and stopped. He thought it must have been the raccoon again. He nearly started off in the direction of his apartment when he heard a very low human voice. John felt himself begin to tremble slightly. He approached the edge of the trail and found a small gap in the foliage to peer through. In the darkness, off the side of the trail John saw that same beautiful girl pinned to the ground by a man wearing a ski mask. He had a knife in his right hand located close to her face. The man was completely on top of the girl. It had been his whispers that John had heard. The man, with the assistance of his knife, had likely told her not to scream. John thought that if the man had merely wanted a little cash then he would have intercepted him when he passed by earlier. It seemed clear to John that this man wanted much more from the young lady that he had on the ground. John was trembling much harder now. He could easily slip away and call the cops. John looked to his left and to his right but saw no one else on the trail in the park. It would take police several minutes to show up. He looked through the bushes once more. The man would be ready to take what he wanted very soon. The police would not be fast enough. John could leave without being noticed. He looked on at the scene in front of him, he thought of the smile given to him not moments before. He thought of the radiant beauty that had accelerated his heartbeat.

    John had been frozen in place for several moments. After much concentration he had found a way to free his muscles from the clutches of fear and move. He slipped through the bushes and towards the scene of the soon to be heinous act. The masked man had been preoccupied with his bad intentions and had not noticed John. He grabbed the back of the man’s coat and pulled him up from the girl’s body. In John’s mind he had wanted to send the man sprawling onto the ground, but in reality he had not been strong enough. He let out a grunt and heaved the masked man about halfway up from on top of the girl. The surprised perpetrator let out a loud curse. The girl appeared to be in shock and did not immediately move. John had trouble finding his voice. After a long second he shouted for the girl to run. The girl did as commanded and in just a moment was dashing north up the park trail. In this time the mask man had steadied himself and stood in an upright position in front of John. He yelled something that John didn’t quite understand. He stepped toward John and his knife hand swung forward. John tried but could not stop it. The knife plunged into John’s ribs. The pain was more intense than anything he had ever felt. The masked man turned in the direction the girl had run. John grabbed the man by the coat again. All John could muster was one loud, “No!” The masked man turned back to John and stabbed him another time. John held onto the man as long as he could. He looked down the trail. He could not see the girl. He released his grip from the masked man and fell over on his side. The girl would be shook up but John knew that she had avoided something much worse. He felt blood come up his throat and out of his mouth. The masked man ran off, John couldn’t tell which direction. He thought about the girl. He thought that she must have been loved by many. Up to that point John had not given much thought to his own death. As he lay there bleeding, he considered several ways his life could have ended. He would have laughed if he would have been able to knowing that this was an end he never could have predicted. John wished that he would have had the chance to have that brief conversation with the girl while returning her earring. He wondered what her name was. Before he slipped away he wondered to himself how many other hearts had galloped in her presence.

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