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Rated: E · Novella · Fantasy · #2201419
I want to write a story that is kind of like a choose your own adventure book.
The road was beaten, looking as if many had walked upon it but none had bothered to keep it in pristine condition. There were potholes in the road, and each step could create more. Your boots clink against the road, causing cracks every time they make contact. The area around the road was barren, just some dead trees. Nothing moved around you, everything was still. If there was something living, it was probably in its last moments. The air smelt foul, causing you to cough a bit.
As you continued down the path, you looked around to see grey walls of trees and between each tree was a void of darkness. There was no sound, but it wasn’t peaceful. It was eerie, and you felt both a presence and a sense of loneliness. With each movement you make, you slightly reach for your sword. Looking around, there is nothing. A spirit? Maybe an abyssal serpent. Thoughts fill your head, but you shrug them off. Anything foolish enough to attack a holy knight certainly is too foolish to hide so incredibly well.
After hours of traveling, you come across a cabin, breaking the pattern of the trees. It also looked worn down, but you could tell someone lived there. Smoke ascended from the chimney, and the quiet was broken by faint humming. With just one step, the armor lets the resident know he has a guest. Quite quickly, a man with ragged clothes and messy hair comes out to greet you.
“Ah-ha!” He exclaims. “A knight! And not only that, a holy knight!” He shortens the distance between the two of you and closely examines your equipment. “What brings you here?”
You stare, hesitating to answer. After a few moments of anticipation, the stranger laughs.
“Of course, how rude of me!” He starts backing off. “I must introduce myself first! I am Cordenus, son of Grunter. I am a resi-” he pauses. “Was a resident of Alkapolis. I’m sure you know what became of it.” You nod slightly. “I know you must be horrified by the mess around here, but the kingdom just isn’t the same.” He slowly mopes around. “So, you can understand my excitement to see a knight here, and I hope you are here to help.”
Whether or not this man has bad intentions or good, it seemed foolish to fear him. A man as scrawny as him couldn’t possibly do anything to you. So you decide to inform him of the reason for your arrival. He nods. “I understand, do you want me to lead you to the entrance?” He looks at you, and even though your face was completely masked by your helmet, he knew you were hesitant to accept his offer. “You know, there’s only one way in, and I can assure you looking in the forest here is more dangerous than coming with me.” You examine the area around you and see nothing but the same image. Trees upon trees. Cordenus extends his hand to you, and you take it. “Come with me.”
Upon entering the woodland, all the emptiness the outside showed disappeared. It seemed the place suddenly filled with creatures. Although no sound was made, you could almost feel the battles between the many small and vile animals around you. The trees seemed life-like, and each time you gazed upon one it seemed to gaze back. The ground felt dead however, each leaf crisp. The soil was hard, and the roots broke easily with a simple touch. There were only 3 colors: gray, black, and white. The sun shone from above, but it seemed to be weakened from the mere atmosphere the forest had.
“Creepy right?” Cordenus looks back at you. “It’s hard to tell if you’re scared or not, but I assume you are not very intimidated by what you see. If you are, you won’t even survive the journey to the castle.” You stay silent. “Not much of a talker huh? I can only imagine what violence can do to a man’s mind. Have you too been taken by the cruelness of war?” You think for a second, then dismiss his thoughts.
After about 3 hours, you finally see something different, color. Green, brown, red, and more colors pop out at you. What once seemed like a dead forest looked like a flourishing one. The sun shone through with full force, lighting up the area in a beautiful manner. Creatures that once seemed disgusting looked magnificent. The ground was lit up with soft dirt and fresh leaves. Each root barely budged when you kicked it. But the area was small, and you could see at the end more of the dreaded woods awaited you.
“Over here.” Cordenus guides you to the middle of the area. He chants to himself in a volume so low you couldn’t make out a single thing. Then, the ground in front of him starts moving, revealing a staircase. The staircase was very detailed, with designs showing flowers and birds. But they were interrupted by moss and vines growing in them. “Hey, it still works!” He chuckles a bit, then pats you on the back. Turning your head, you glare at him. He apologizes and quickly takes his hand off. “Well, good luck.”
Looking back at the staircase, it looked as if it was bottomless. There were no torches so it only led to darkness. You lay one foot on the first step, and then your other foot. Looking back at Cordenus, he smiles. After a nod, you descend into the darkness of the trapdoor, cautiously looking around until you can no longer see.
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