The Quest for the Sword of Justice! Part Sixteen: The Sword Released
This is my NaNoWriMo 2016 Project. Thanks for reading!
The Wizard ran around, screaming, holding his hands over his head and flailing them.
“AaaaahhhAAAAhhhhhaaahhhhh,” said the Wizard.
“Are you quite finished?,” asked Osiris.
The Wizard paused for a moment. “Finished? Finished, she asks. No! I am most certainly not finished! I am just getting started.” With that, the Wizard started to run and scream again.
Willow felt a quiet rage burning within her that she could not control. “What just happened? Where’s miss Elena? Where’s Brutus? What be happening?”
A calming force entered Willow’s mind, and suddenly her stomach felt like it was floating away. “Do not lose hope,” said the voice of Osiris, echoing inside her mind. “You have great strength. We will need it in the coming days.”
I’m already regretting bringing you on as a consultant. You’ve completely gutted my story here.
“You asked me what I thought, mom,” said Lisa. “So I told you! Now you’ve got only the interesting characters left. What’s the point of having a character in your story if they aren’t interesting?”
Not everyone is interesting.
“Not in real life, maybe,” said Lisa, smiling. “But in stories everyone can be great! The best stories are the ones where I like all the people.”
Hmm. You might actually be on to something. Why should I make the reader wade through a bunch of uninteresting nonsense when I can just jump right to it?
“That sounds great!”
Why yes, I’ll just have the whole story take place on the first page, and the ending will be on page two.
Lisa rolled her eyes. “That’ll never work. You’re messing with me again.”
You’ve been doing some writing. What would you do now?
“Well, for one thing…this story is called The Quest for the Sword of Justice, so I’d actually introduce the sword. It’s been floating in a mysterious room for ages now.”
It’s not just floating in a mysterious room. It’s floating in a mysterious room somewhere in space.
“Ooooh! Now that’s interesting!”
I think you’re just trying to make this story into Space Enforcer.
“It’s better than it not having an ending, and being named after a sword that isn’t actually in most of the story.”
The Sword of Justice vibrated with anticipation.
The third is coming.
This is not ideal.
A low rumbling sound emanated from somewhere beyond, in the cave. Footsteps. The white-clad doppelgänger of Osiris approached the Plinth.
“Sword Of Justice,” she hissed, “I have come for you.”
“I do not wish for you to carry me,” said the Sword. It’s voice rumbled and echoed off the cave walls.
The woman pointed at the sword. “You have no choice! I have come first! I am the one who will claim you. Only the Three may wield you, and I am here, awakened from my slumber.”
“You never showed an interest before,” mused the Sword. “You have been watching a vigil out of anger, not of caution. You do not seek Justice, you seek only Vengeance.”
“You do not get to decide what I use you for,” said the woman. Her mask rippled with her words, which flew out of her throat with a rasping rage. “Now, enough, release yourself, and come forward to me.”
“So be it!”
The sword stopped spinning. It lowered itself downwards. Once it touched the plinth, it clattered to the floor. The light that shone upon it dimmed. The woman scrambled around in the near-darkness, and picked up the sword, holding it aloft.
“At last, my dear siblings, I am coming for you! Justice is mine. You will not stop Anubis this time.”
Anubis pointed the sword in front of herself. A portal opened before her. She stepped through it…and into the underworld beyond. The portals were difficult to navigate when they were new. Now, thousands of years later, the dimension they lead through was a wasteland known as the underworld. Full of gnarled branches, forgotten roads, and ancient monsters.
“I’ll need the keys if I am to find my brother,” mumbled Anubis to herself. “Your time has come. Sister, you will be last.”
“I’m confused, mom,” said Lisa.
Why’s that? I finally introduced the Sword of Justice, like you asked.
“Yeah, but now some lady has it…and she’s Osiris’ twin sister, or something. I don’t know what’s going on.”
The story has to have a villain, I’ve told you before.
“But it already has two: the King and the floating head guy.”
Lisa’s mom shook her head.
You got rid of the King. You dropped him into a hole, remember?
“I didn’t mean to screw it up, though. I thought we only needed the floating head guy.”
Turns out he wasn’t the villain. He was just using whatever means necessary to escape his horrible prison. It’s not easy to be in prison for a long time.
“I feel like you’re just changing the rules whenever you want to.”
That’s part of the fun of being a writer. Don’t ever forget about it! You can make happen whatever you can write, whatever you can think of! Strive to tell the most wild and crazy thing you can think of, understand? You can make it make sense afterwards.
“Like…like a cartoon?”
Sort of, yes! And also: sometimes the story is the one making the rules.
Osiris felt something move in the back of her mind.
“We have to go, everyone, we will find your friends later,” she said. She turned and got onto Barry.
“That’s Mr. Brutus’ goat,” said Willow. The Wizard was still running around on the field next to the road, screaming incoherently.
“Yes I know,” said Osiris. “He would be quite upset with us if we lost him. So I’m going to look after him myself.”
Willow’s eyes widened a little. “We…need to look after it? Mr. Brutus is okay?”
Osiris nodded. “Yes. And he will have need of his mount.”
“And Miss Elena, too?,” asked Willow.
Willow smiled and leapt into the air. She immediately got on her horse. She nodded. “Ready when you are, miss!”
Osiris turned towards the flailing Wizard. She removed her mask, and yelled with magical energy. A loud whistling bellow echoed for miles, startling the Wizard right off his feet and onto the ground. Osiris put her mask back on. “Hey, Wizard, it’s time to go. We have to stick to the plan. Get on Cabbage.”
The Wizard starting throwing a fit. “Why did you yell at me! Our quest is doomed! Doomed!”
“We need you to get us into the castle so we may speak with the Queen, are you coming or not? Time is short. My sister is coming. She has the Sword of Justice.”
“The Sword of Justice?,” asked the Wizard, incredulous. “Impossible! It’s just a myth! And since when did you have a sister?”
“Since about 4000 years ago,” said Osiris. “You either come along, or I’ll burn your robes off you where you sit!”
The Wizard stood promptly and got back on Cabbage.
Osiris tossed a bag of coins at the Wizard, which he barely caught. “For your troubles and your services, Wizard.”
The Wizard opened the bag and saw several gold coins looking up at him. “Yup, this’ll do! The Castle’s just down this way!”
The three heroes galloped away, leaving Turtle Jeff by the side of the road.
“At last,” said Turtle Jeff aloud to no one. “My story begins!”
Thanks for inviting me out to lunch again, Melanie. It’s really nice to see you.
“You’re looking well!,” said Melanie. “Especially for someone who spread complete chaos in the office just a few days ago!”
Things going that badly?
“Oh, I’m doing great actually!,” said Melanie, with a laugh. “Randy has never been nicer to me. He’s bending over backwards to make sure I’m happy. People keep asking him why you left, and he just says he ‘can’t say.’ It’s pretty damn hilarious.”
Hah! Well. That serves him right for his little scheme. I’m still not even sure what it was supposed to accomplish.
“The Boys Club is dying and the boys don’t even realize it,” said Melanie, eating a bite of her roast beef sandwich.
That’s a good way to put it. Ever think of being a writer?
“No, but you said that’s what you’re doing now?”
That’s right. I’ve got enough money for Lisa and I to survive for about six more months…maybe more, if she keeps working QA for Randy’s company. But then I’ve got to make it on my words.
“That seems incredibly horrifying,” said Melanie.
It’s what I always planned to do. All the way back to college. The family, the divorce, the tech job…it all just kind of happened to me.
“Well, that’s how life goes sometimes. Randy got pretty mad when he found your notes for continuing the project.”
I can’t really blame him.
“I can’t believe you had the guts to just write ‘Make Everything Better.’ He about flipped his mind when that was the only documentation on your hard drive aside from your work.”
It was a good directive. I didn’t write it to piss him off, I actually wrote that a few weeks ago, hah.
“How you were tracking your progress on the project targets?”
I don’t know. I just kind of kept it all in my head.
“Well, I got the raise he promised me, and things are going well on the project. It’s going to be finished in a few more weeks, but I still think no one will buy it.”
Not your problem as long as the client is happy.
“How’s work going for you? Do you just sleep in every day, and write all night? Do you hang out in coffee shops? What cliche are you living?,” asked Melanie.
A little of all of it, really. I actually asked Lisa to start helping me out. She was already listening to my first drafts of each chapter when I finished them, so now she’s like my real-time editor.
“How’s that going?”
The first thing she do was had me kill off all the characters. It was kind of liberating actually. I finally figured out how to tie the plot together and introduce the real, real villain.
Melanie dropped her sandwich on the plate. “You mean, it’s not the floating space head guy?”
Haha, no, it’s someone else entirely. I think the story is very dangerously close to being about something.
“Can I keep reading it?,” asked Melanie. “Now that you’re not at work with me I have no way to spy on your writing.”
You know what? You can do something even better. What are you doing on Saturday afternoon?
Do you own a pointy hat? Or a cloak?