Check this out!

Hey, all you literary folks…check out the following snippet from a story I’m writing below…tell me whatcha think.

Sometimes life really stinks. And I mean the stinks-like-a-dead-wildebeest variety. One day you’re just going along, minding your own business, when the cruel workings of Fate decide to throw a monkey wrench right in your gears. We shopkeepers never get any breaks, I tell ya. It’s either some yappy customer or an ancient demon from the Nether regions of Hell. I mean, come on, what have I done wrong? I’ve never killed anyone (though I’ve come close, those mages that come in here get pretty picky), I haven’t stolen anything (unless you count that box of firecrackers when I was ten years old) and I sure as heck haven’t eaten Black Fruit#. I guess Fate just chooses who it chooses, but I still shake my fist at the old bugger. All he does up there is play poker with Chance and Free Will anyway. At any rate, my time came just about a month ago. I’ve gotta remember this for future reference…the powers above don’t like we humans to be happy. Once you get content, well, then they just throw it all in your face.

    It happened for me one day as I was about to close up shop.  Some goat of a customer had knocked over my display of fried norts# (darn squiggly things, why anyone would want to eat one, I don’t know), and I was busy replacing them when this guy came in.  He wasn’t shopping for some fine snack food, or cheap magical ingredient, I can tell you that.  This person was definitely all-powerful arch-mage material.  Oh sure, sometimes once in a while you’ll get the big brawny hero that comes into the shop or some sort of weird monster that wants something to eat, but for the most part, my customers are low-ranking mages and people who just want some candy or maybe put a weak curse on their neighbor, but never somebody this powerful.  The big black cloak he was wearing only enhanced the look, and made me decide I was probably right.  Well, since I am sort of a coward, guess what I did?  What any self-respecting person would do when confronted with a guy who could probably take out your shop with a single wave of the hand-- I cowered and bowed.  I asked him what he wanted (neglecting to mention that Cocoa Tam-Tams were 50% off today) and he just kind of looked at me like he hadn’t even noticed I was there.  We stood there like that for about five minutes, him just kind of looking, me just cowering back.  Finally, he broke the tension, by asking whether I possessed any Wodash Ether.  I don’t even know what Wodash Ether is, so I was pretty sure I didn’t have any.  I told him as much, and he frowned at me.  He stood there a little longer.  By this time I was starting to get pretty dang impatient.  This guy just comes barging in here when the sign in front of the door obviously says ’closed’, and then asks for something which I haven’t even heard of, and then stands there staring at me as if I’m a wild teruff#.  What was this guy’s problem, anyway?  Usually I’m not the bravest person in the universe (I have a profound fear of spiders) but this time I was grumpy and annoyed and tired and ready to go home, and this haughty punk was stopping me from leaving.  So I quit cowering and told him to get out of my store.  He smiled at me (later on I found out that this was an extreme rarity from him) and nodded.  He then turned tail and fled.  Well, maybe not fled.  Maybe more like leaving without saying anything, mysteriously.  Oh well, it was a victory for me anyway.  And I thought that was the end of the whole affair.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

The mysterious gentleman returned the next week.  Only this time he looked completely different.  I was tending to a customer who was haggling with me for the price of the pickled nort’s blood he needed for a spell he was putting on his daughter, when the arch-mage came in.  He was still wearing his heavy black cloak, but it was torn in places, and the edge was a tattered remnant of what it once was.  His face was haggard, worn.  It looked like he’d been stepped on by a titanicus#.  I rolled my eyes.  This guy had a load of nerve.  As soon as I finished with my buyer, Mr. High-And-Mighty strode up to my desk.  I opened my mouth to start telling him that, no, we didn’t have any Wodash Ether, but he quickly shut it with a flick of his finger.  I had no other patrons in the store at the time after the pickled nort guy left, and it seemed as if a cloud had come over the sun.  Temporarily, I was unable to speak, which is never a good sign.  “Listen to me now, and listen close,” the All-Powerful Annoyance said.  I nodded--it was all I really could do.  Powers above know if I could move at all I would have shooed him out of the store. It was prime business hour, after all.  “This shop of yours is about to be overrun by Corruths, and they definitely won’t be happy to see you.  They’ve seen you talking to me, just last week, and they’re ready to rip you to pieces.”  My eyes widened at this.  Corruths?  Here?  I hadn’t seen one of those ugly, slimy, disgusting, rude, piggish, evil little demon-turds in this city in...well, forever.  As a matter of fact, Corruths hadn’t been around the whole planet for at least a thousand years or so.  Needless to say, at first I didn’t quite believe him, but one look at his pale face convinced me.  “Follow me and you’ll be fine,” he said as he looked around my tiny shop, the one that seemed to be closing in on me every second.  

 “Do you have a back door somewhere?”  I nodded and pointed at the small opening behind my counter.  I had been thinking of covering that bother over for at least three years now--little kids like to break in through there and steal Cocoa Tam-Tams.  The mage lithely jumped over the counter and dashed to the old, mostly molded wood.  He kicked it open and motioned for me to follow.  Well, by now I was reasonably, scratch that, I was scared out of my mind.  One Corruth could eat the manliest hero for breakfast without breaking a sweat.  I didn’t want to imagine what a whole squad of them would do to me.  I shook my head, took one last look at my quaint little shop, and chased after that idiot mage.  I guess I was glad to have him with me, even though he caused the whole mess.  No sooner had I disappeared behind the outlet when the entrance to my shop burst open and the most God-awful thing I have ever seen greeted my sight.  It was black, it was slimy, it had big, gnashing teeth, it had massive claws, it had massive feet, and it was uglier than a dead burlisk#.  The thing was even complete with squinty little red eyes, eyes that looked like some sort of fire was going on inside the thing’s head and wasn’t ever going to be put out.  Of course, it was a Corruth.  Why would it be anything but a Corruth?  And the way my luck was going today, there was probably more that one.  I wasn’t too surprised when three more jumped through the door, snarling and screeching in that appalling way that they do.  After that, I felt I could deal with ten million irritating customers if I never had to see one of these monstrosities again.  After I had gotten my eyeful, I dashed off, almost ready to bust out into panic.  I was stopped by the arch-mage.  “Here, take this,” he said, handing me the grip of an old, stout-looking sword.  “A sword?  I’ve never used a sword in my life!” I said, desperate.  Ever since I hacked a rat in half with a kitchen knife last summer and its blood got all over me, I’ve hated pointy, sharp objects.  The sight of blood almost makes me faint.  “Just swing it around wildly when you’re in danger, and you’re bound to hit something.”  I sighed, hesitant, then took the dratted thing and put it in the sheath he gave me.  Now this really was insane.  First of all, I was being chased down the back alley of my store by ancient monsters that hadn’t appeared on the planet for at least a thousand years.  And second of all, I was wearing a frocking sword.  Now, compared to the first, the second doesn’t seem that big of a deal, but to me it was.  And so, I raced off after my mysterious escort just as the Corruths came busting through the back door.  

        I let out a pitiful little yelp and tried to put on some more speed.  It was doing me no good.  You wouldn’t be able to tell by their big, hulking bodies, but those Corruths are fast.  They get on all fours and lope after you like there’s no tomorrow.  Well, I felt it was just about my time to die.  The buck stops here, as they say.  I was dismayed, I hadn’t even lived to be fifty years old yet, and already I was going to be mauled by wild demon-servants straight out of Hell.  I leapt over the hedge in the back alley and arrived in the middle of the busy street, almost got squashed by a speeding horse, nimbly dodged it, and arrived on the other side.  I looked both ways, spotted the mage’s black cloak flitting away and sped after it.  One Corruth got run over by a passing carriage, unfortunately its acid blood sent the horse and rider up in flames.  Alas for me, the other three were still loping after us.  I saw the mage turn into a side street, and put on my last burst of speed to get to him.  It was almost not enough.  The three remaining ugly monkeys were hot on my tail, ready to chop me in half, when I spotted a parked horse, untied, standing in my way.  With a (rather breathless) whoop of joy, I slung myself onto the horse and spurred it away, down the side alley where my buddy had gone.  

  As everyone knows, a horse is faster than a Corruth, thank Heaven (although it was probably Heaven that got me into this chaos in the first place.).I caught up with the mage at last, and grinned spitefully at him.  “Follow me, he says, and then leaves me in the dust,”  I said mockingly.  “I followed you, and it looks like you missed a horse, dimwit.  Hop on and we just might get out of here alive and not slashed into gory ribbons.”  He smiled and somehow I ended up nearer to the bum of the horse, with him in front.  “Alright, as long as I get to drive,” he chuckled and prompted the horse on.  Leave it to a mage to look a gift horse in the mouth.     

Actually, at the end of the day I was glad the mage was driving--the only thing I’d ever driven was my mangy old mare named Claudia, who went no faster than twelve miles an hour at best.  As it was, The-Biggest-Bother-There-Ever-Was probably could have raced in the world-famous Germine Races down south, and won by a landslide.  He was good.  He turned that horse nimbly down all the side-streets and hidden by-ways and we soon left all the Corruths in the dust.  I don’t remember half of that wild ride, only that I was sitting back in the saddle, holding on for dear life as I panted from exhaustion.  Being chased by hell-spawn is not exactly the most relaxing experience one can have.  Finally, after about an hour, we stopped in a deserted alleyway.  An old sign hung above a door to our right reading Ekan’s Fine Meat and Leather Products, badly faded.  “All right, wizard-boy, time to tell me what’s going on here,”  I said.  After all, it’s not everday you’re forced to evacuate your shop because of slimy things with claws.  He wearily launched himself off of the horse and motioned for me to follow.  Of course, there was nothing else to do but comply.  He sighed, looked around cautiously, and then spoke.  

   “It’s a long story,” he said, “It would best be told someplace more private than out on an open street, but until then, I can tell you my name and some choice things.  People call me Berdun, and I am an arch-mage at the City Council on Demon Prevention.”  I stared at him for a second, then broke out into a laugh.  “T-the what?” I asked, still guffawing.  Berdun looked indignant--obviously he’d had this sort of treatment before.  “The CCDP.  It’s relatively secret, that’s probably why you don’t know about it.  Only select people know of it, and shopkeepers don’t happen to be one of that group.”  I shook my head.  I’ve heard of the City Council for Teruff Preservation, the City Council for Water Safety, and the City Council for No Argosians Allowed, but never the City Council on Demon Prevention.  The idea was utterly stupid, even dumber than one of my customers claiming he saw something called a “bobcat”.  “And what exactly does this CCDP do, eh?”

…And that’s all I’ve got

<img src=“”> Media Forum. And use paragraphs :stuck_out_tongue:

As TD said, add more paragraphs, or at least brackets. I’ll gladly comment more on it but it hurts my eyes to read it as it is and I know that I should be a bit careful about that. So fix some more spaces and then we’ll be talking, kay?

Great fic so far. Just take MASTER Weiila’s advice and TD’s advice.
Doing great!:smiley:


Did you hear that, Maggie boy?
:fungah:: “No.”