Flash Fiction for the prompt: A how-to in the second person
|How to slay a Borish Hellbeast
Prompt: A how-to in the second person
To take on this mighty deed it is best if you are from a small unknown town (being a local farm boy is preferable) or become the chosen one by any means at your disposal. Sometimes that might involve betraying a relative but that is not always necessary. If these are not possible continue with a large chip on your shoulder.
After this continue about your day-to-day business for a time. Make sure to take note of your good friends and potential love interest as well as any rivals that have been causing you and your family a generally bad time.
The next part happens on its own. Out of nowhere, an event will inevitably occur that sends you on your path to slay a Borish Hellbeast. Unfortunately, this will usually be through some tragic event beseeching you and your loved ones. Two out of ten times it is by a direct attack by the Borish Hellbeast on your village. Eight out of ten times it is by a group of raiders, pirates, or a rival army. They will raid your village as it is just in the way and they need supplies.
This may leave some with feelings of peril, loss, or totally helplessness. Take stock here on a few points. You are still alive. Your rival was heavily mauled by either the Hellbeast itself or by the marauding heathens. And finally, while your potential love interest may be missing, it is certain that they are not in fact dead.
If at this point you find yourself not responding to the process very well, fear not. Next, you will meet a wise mentor who will help you along the way. They will be caring and lift you up in ways that motivate, educate, and just make you feel good all around. WARNING: DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO YOUR MENTOR! While they will help solidify your motivation to slay the Borish Hellbeast, unfortunately, they will also meet their untimely end by dying a horrible death in a later step.
Do not let this foreshadowed knowledge distract you. The wise mentor will inform you of several key points to slaying the Borish Hellbeast: 1) You can’t do this alone. You will need a team. 2) The Borish Hellbeast has a secret weakness. 3) They don’t know what that weakness is, but they know someone who does.
Finding your crew might take time. Your childhood friend, no matter how lacking in skill, will always make the team. Look for the burly fellow that owes you a life debt as well as any skilled assassins if they are available. Diversity is key. And yes, that means by a bazaar chain of events your now partially healed rival will be joining your escapades. He’ll promise to be good.
Find the widowed old women outside of town to find out the weakness of the Borish Hellbeast. She will ask for a small favor in return. Do said small favor. During this learn your childhood friend has strangely been keeping a hidden skill from you. Be alright that he can shoot a bow and arrow way WAY better than you can. Return to the old women to find she does not actually know the weakness, but she knows someone who does.
Go on an impractical series of tasks and quests for different people attempting to gain the elusive knowledge of the Hellbeasts’ weakness. Some tasks will mystify, amaze, and test you and your parties' limits. Other mundane tasks you will complete as the servants thank you for doing their menial choirs. At each step, you will slowly gain hints of what the weakness is, all while bonding with your mismatched party and learning much about their back-stories. Your Mentor will leave you for periods of time to later rejoin you at convenient moments that usually turn out to be climatic in nature.
At last, you will gain the knowledge you seek: The Borish Hellbeast has an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. You’ll need to explain to the burly fellow that this means it will kill it if ingested.
Scour and vent in an inn with your now much closer than family comrades. Discuss global and cultural reasoning as to how the old women, or all the others for that matter, couldn’t remember such a simple weakness. Ignore your rival as he brings up the fact that slaying the Hellbeast will do nothing to stop the ravaging army that probably destroyed your village and has now thrown his life into ruin. Watch him limp off to his room cursing your ancestors. He probably had too much to drink.
Listen to the bard’s song as it fills the tavern and, just by chance, includes the exact location of the Hellbeast’s lair. Let your imagination run with the minstrel’s rhythmic verse till it makes complete sense to you that the Hellbeast must be in his abode that very night. Realize the time of action is at hand.
Put a practical plan together with your team that only leaves out seemingly minuscule details. Of course, those details will mean victory or failure but at that moment they will seem not nearly worth the fuss.
Plans in hand, approach the lair of the Borish Hellbeast in the darkness of night. Be sure it is raining or has a real possibility of storming at some point during the following steps. Torches and correct apparel are optional.
The following few steps will usually happen in quick succession:
As you approach the entrance to the lair, the Hellbeast will emerge after a crack of lightning overhead. It will have huge mighty claws and teeth sticking out of everything. This will induce terror in at least one party member.
You will quickly realize the missing detail in your plan. Which one of you was picking up the peanut butter? Check with the burly fellow in your crew but he will probably shrug in confusion. It will be too late at this point.
Your mentor will appear from the shadows announcing in a powerful voice that he has found the secret and forbidden vial of ‘Nutpea Rettub’. He will hold it up for recognition.
The moment of escalation in seeing your mentor will be doused with a sword being thrust through his chest right in front of you. You prepared for this. He will drop to his knees in front of you slowly taking in his last breathe. Rush to his side and, ignoring all else, peer into his eyes as he puts a hand to your face and implores you to fight on. He will die. Realize how much he has changed you and your friends and what he really means to you. Tears will flow. There is no preparing for this.
As his body falls to the side stand and meet eyes with his killer. It will be your rival.
You will feel a multitude of feelings at this point: anger, betrayal, confusion. This is normal. Hold on to these for a moment as this too shall pass. In another moment after you see a sly smile form on your rival's face, you might also notice the charging Borish Hellbeast behind him.
You can raise a hand in a warning or decide to turn and run at this point. Either way, your rival will meet a painful and ugly demise at the claws of the Hellbeast. The faint of stomach should look away. While you may be feeling a sense of justice restored or the horror at more death, you will also find yourself realizing the perilous situation you are still in. The Borish Hellbeast will turn his attention to you.
This is where your team comes in.
The burly fellow will dive at the monstrosity, seizing the chance to pay back his life debt. This will either knock the Hellbeast on its side or your friend will slip off the side of the beast, depending on how much of the rain you got. This should be followed by the assassins you found (skip this if you were not able to find any) jumping on its back from above. Their stabby skills should come in handy here. As your childhood friend now plunges arrow after arrow into the hideous beast, you will realize the forgotten key to all of this madness, the peanut butter.
The vast wisdom your mentor provided you within early steps will make you realize his magic item was not a jar of ‘Nutpea Rettub’ but ‘Peanut Butter’ read horribly wrong!
Don’t rush this next step. With the chaos of battle and the rain drenching all, now is not the time to lose focus. Chances are you will. Dash towards your mentor’s corpse and fling yourself past the burly fellow grappling the beast’s leg. If you find your lack of dexterity a hindrance, focus on breathing as you dodge and run. You may need to fling yourself again if the need arises.
As you spot the jar on the ground, your burly friend will let out a painful howl. This is when you will lose focus. You’ll look back for him and hesitate that last step till the jar would have been in reach. This is when the Borish Hellbeast will knock you clear across the rocks. It will hurt a lot. You can moan and wail depending on the severity.
Ignore your head pounding and peer over at your burly friend bleeding from his waist. You’ll see the assassins (if applicable) will then be thrown against the rock wall to drop and lay motionless. Try to stagger to your feet as your childhood friend lets out a war cry, draws a dagger, and charges at the beast.
At this point, while your eyesight might be waining and feeling leaving your legs, take a moment to listen. You’ll hear the sounds of battle and brokenness, of screams and pleas, but listen still. Music, faint as a whisper, will start to play. Hear it rejuvenate your limbs and grant you strength. You’ll find you can lift your body from the sharp rocks. The music will intensify quickly as you stand, blood pounding in your head. As a crack of lightning lights the whole area, a figure will appear standing over your mentor’s dead corpse. It will be your lost potential love interest.
With the jar in hand and soaked cloak flapping in the wind, they will stride confidently over to the mighty Borish Hellbeast… and thrust the container into its great maw.
Loud bellows and agony will fill the entire area as the beast stagers back and tries to clear its toothy mouth of the sticky substance. This will be followed by great coughing fits filled with rage as the great Borish Hellbeast thrashes about violently before finally coming to a motionless rest, slain.
This will be followed by much rejoicing.
And that is how you slay a Borish Hellbeast.