Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Laufey's Treasure - Chapter 10

The following is my new short story series entitled "Laufey's Treasure." It is an action adventure series featuring minor characters from my upcoming novel in their own lighthearted journey. I hope you enjoy, it and be sure to catch my previous short story featured in the same universe called "The Adventures of Reynard Olfsson." 

Chapter 10

"I beat him fair and square. The troll wasn't too happy about it. He reclined against his chair underneath the shade of the tent awning and pouted a moment.

"'Never works,' he said grumpily. 'I figured you for a bad rhymer. Dol, dee dumb old me.'

"The monster shook his head. His eyes were tired, and slowly he got up and started walking away. It was pitiful to watch him. So, holding the construct map tightly in my grasp I called out to him. 

"'Creature,' I said. 'Tell me a story. I'll pay you with a gold piece if the tellin's good. What say you?'

"He didn't say much at first, maybe yawned, but that was it. I knew he was trying to figure me out. I could tell by the way he looked at me. He was so intense, and focused. Then, he finally came back to his seat, saw the gold piece I had laid out in the palm of my hand and he leaned back proudly.

"'You're a nice fella,' he said. 'Charitabul and kind t' your elders.' 

"He leaned into me real close. I could smell his breath. It was awful, like putrefied fish.

"'My stories are worth far more than a gold piece.' He smiled at me expectantly. 'There are a few of my yarns worth tha' kind o' salt. 

"'And what makes you think that I can't offer you more for a better tale?' I said. Quickly I jerked my hand away from him, the one that had the money. This time he frowned.

"'Fine then,' he said. 'You want a tale? I'll give you a tale. Ever hear of the Last Age? If you haven't then shut up! I want to tell it brand new. A tale's no good if you've heard it twice.

"Still I shook my head. There were many stories and theories, what may or may not have happened. Each entailed when mankind came out once more from the rubble, to start over. I remembered most of them being told to me by my father. The troll was old though, maybe even old enough to remember what it was like before.

"'Alright,' I said, keeping my eye on him, 'lets hear it.'

"'Ah, well then. It'll be a good one you'll see.' He stretched out his hand over the display and an colorful window came up out of the fabric of the table. It was a construct, his memories entwined. I saw a world filled with people, choked by them. The world was different, one of crisis, or fear. It was difficult to tell which. I saw great, golden construct signs, larger than I had ever thought possible, sustained far above the earth like halos, shining down from the heavens. Above it all was one brooding like a crimson star."

"'That one,' he said pointing to it with a hairy finger. 'Yeah, that's 'im alright. I forgot his name, bloody marvelous man.'

"'Who was he?' I asked. The troll snarled, wiping his nose disgruntled.

"'e was the future. Everything we could've hoped for. He did things that none of us thought possible. Then, just like that, all gone.' The troll made a motion with his hands, leveling out the fabric and changing the scene. I saw then a man up close, the one the beast was referring to. He looked tired, worn away by time. At his side was a creature, human, but not. Whatever it was, it was too perfect, like a god. It was his guardian, his protector.

"'Destroyed the world 'e did,' the Troll said, shaking his head sadly. 'Did so much for it, and eventually it got to 'im I guess. Funny that a man with so much power would hate having so much of it.'

"'What was his power?' I asked, looking up at the troll. The beast shrugged. He had not forgotten, no, he simply had blotted it out of his mind like a painful memory too great to endure.

"'Who knows. 'e was my father. I was the sparkle in 'is eye. Once I was a weapon, or meant to be. When it all happened we were freed and set upon the Earth. Didn't know what to do then, all of us. Some of us died in indecision. Some killed for food, ate humans, ugh...' The creature made a sour expression. 'Many of us watched, like me. We watched it all burn. After a 'undred, two 'undred years, they all forgot about us, made legends about what we were. Funny thing, that. I'm as human as you.'

"Grinning proudly, the creature poked me hard in the chest. It hurt, only a little though. Nodding at nothing, just staring off with dead eyes, he paused then looked back at me.

"'Keep your money,' the troll said finally getting up once more, this time never to return. 'I'm out of stories today. Come back again, if you wish.'

"I heard my father call me in the distance then, faintly. I knew it was him. I knew I should go but something burned in me. I had to know.

"'Creature,' I said. 'What is your name?'

"Slowly the troll looked back, his eyes eerily glowing in the darkness.

"'Magnus," he said, treasuring the syllables.

"'It's Magnus.'    


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