This is a story I started maybe a year ago, and I revived it for an English assignment. It’s supposed to be a heroic story, following a good amount of these guidelines:
[li]Hero has obscure origins
[/li][li]Hero has friends, disciples, followers, servants
[/li][li]Hero has a guide
[/li][li]Hero has a weakness
[/li][li]Hero journeys into darkness
[/li][li]Hero is on a quest
[/li][li]Hero’s elixir (goal) becomes a symbol for a higher ideal
[/li][li]Hero is changed by ordeal
[/li][li]Hero is wounded
[/li][li]Hero doesn’t know destination
So if you could keep those in mind for criticism, without further ado…
[i]Damn that clock and damn whoever brought it in here,[/i] the thoughts blurring in my head as I reached to shut the alarm off. Swing and… miss, of course. Somebody just had to have moved it during the night. Standing up, my vision swam, but I managed to turn my head enough to center on the obnoxious noise, centering in on a small black object that looked vaguely like a clock. With a swift kick, I broke the alarm clock and at the same time, my foot. Felt like it, at least. Limping slightly, I grabbed an-only-slightly dirty towel off the bedpost and headed into the bathroom. Turning the shower on, I was already thinking about the rest of the day. Just had to be Tuesday today. Most hellish day ever designed. And it was. Calculus, English, chemistry, and American history. All before four pm, too. The only bright spot in the day was at five, when Erin Blanchette tutored me in calculus. [i]Boy is she ever a sight for sore eyes.[/i] Stepping out of my bathrobe, I slid into the shower, letting the steaming water surround me. The rising mist took with it my worries about the upcoming day and I relaxed a bit, sighing to myself as the water coursed down my stomach, down my smooth legs and… [i]Smooth legs?![/i] A tremor of fear ran through me as my groggy mind all too quickly became wide awake. I turned my eyes down to inspect my legs, but something caught them before my legs did; somethings, actually. Two of them. Breasts. On [i]my[/i] body. Couldn’t be right. No. Not on me. I’m a man! My mind couldn’t comprehend it, and neither could my new body. I slumped down against the wall, my mind racing, trying to avoid one question. Deathly afraid of the answer, my hands journeyed down, past my breasts. Crossed over my toned stomach, down to my hips. My fingers trembled as they slowly continued on their course. As I drew a ragged breath, the fingers finally reached home, and I almost passed out. [i]My penis is gone![/i] I shouted over and over in my head. If I hadn’t just felt the skin surrounding my clitoris, I would never have thought it possible. Never would have dreamt it. But here I was, shaking as my flooded mind tried to crest the highest wave yet. As the questions ran though my mind, I felt a subtler feeling that was unimaginable. Pleasure. It coursed through my body like a low wave until my brain picked up on the feeling and its source: my hand was still resting on my… I couldn’t bring myself to think about it. But it did feel good, and as my fingers continued to probe, the pleasure increased, and in turn, so did the speed of my fingers. My eyes rolled in my head, my breath came in short gasps. I couldn’t even support myself any more; I was lying on my back, chest pushed outwards, fingers furiously working back and forth. I let out a low moan as the pleasure hit a peak, and I drowned in the moment. Gasping for breath, I slowly brought myself back to reality. Being careful to avoid so much pleasure again, I washed off and wrapped myself in the towel. I walked back into my bedroom, intent on finding some clothing that wouldn’t make me feel too girlish. I almost missed the man in my search for a pair of jeans and a shirt. Would’ve missed him completely if it weren’t for him throwing gum at me. He looked like any other college student. Tousled brown hair framed baby blue eyes and a smile to die for. He was slightly built, about my height – my old height, at least; I was a good head shorter now. He wore a pair of slacks and a blue button-down shirt. Even though he didn’t look like a powerhouse, something about him seemed to convey that he had plenty of strength in him. So maybe I exaggerated a little. I couldn’t help it; it’s how I – well, my body – saw him. It took all of my willpower to not jump on him right then and there. That was my female body speaking. My male mind was horrified at the thought of touching a man. As my body waged an internal war with itself, I managed to at least speak to him. “Hi,” I managed to say without tackling him. Hey, I never said I was particularly eloquent at this moment. He waved and replied with a hearty “Good mornin’!” [i]Oh great. A morning person. Lovely. Still, not too bad looking…[/i] “And you are… ?” “Chris.” [i]Such a lovely name for a lovely man.[/i] “And you are here… ?” “… because you are lost,” he said simply. I tried to figure out what he was talking about but couldn’t gather the faintest of notions. It must have shown, as he continued on. “You’re in a whole new world, and I’m not just talking about your body,” he said with a stupid grin spread across his face. [i]Even better. A morning person[/i] and [i]a smart ass. Keeps getting better and better. Why are all guys such jerks? Wait, did I really just think that?[/i] Despite the aura of power surrounding him, I could also sense he was also not unlike any other college male; as we spoke, I noticed his eyes wandering, tracing my new curves. Despite its creepiness, it at least let me know Chris was at least partly human. As if he knew my thoughts, Chris spoke up again. “As you’ve noticed, I’m no more normal than you are, but neither am I some all-powerful being. I’ve just been here a lot longer than my age would suggest. But before we get to the here and now, let me explain to you this world’s past.” And he did. It took the better part of the morning, but he got it all across. Where we were was indeed Earth, but not the same one I came from. Same basic world, similar geography, more or less identical weather patterns, but they were only the surface of the Earth, and everybody knows it’s what’s beneath that counts. People are still people in the sense that they eat, sleep, reproduce, all that “normal” stuff. It was what was behind a person, behind his motives and actions, which was so radically different in this world. The concepts of what made a person a person, beyond the scientific realm at least, were in no way similar to our own ideas and beliefs. While “good” and “evil” existed in our world, they were no more than words, ideas or labels to apply to people or groups as we saw fit. They were merely abstracts to work with, but never did they have a direct impact on our lives, on the whole of society. Here, in this other Earth, they were as real as an apple. Their effects were tangible. Their influences were felt in everyday situations, from the mundane to the crises of the world. They visibly worked in and through people to get to their ultimate goal. While the war between the two greats was far more pronounced in this world, it was never a war of brutality. Rather, it was a war of intellects pitted against one another. The battles were fought in the classrooms, the courts, boardrooms, all the way up to the governments. They fought in the places where the real power was held, where their victories – and their opponents’ defeats – were most publicly viewable. Their eventual goals weren’t mutually exclusive. They were merely the same view seen from different points. They wanted the best for humanity, but neither of their utopias was perfect for humanity as a whole. While neither future was particularly bright for us, we still fought on their behalves because we didn’t have any choice but to. People generally fell into one of the four groups of the war. The first two are the most obvious: they worked for either good or evil, mostly intellectuals. There were also a few among them known for inciting riots and violence in general, and they caused plenty of trouble while they could. The third group was those who weren’t involved. They were basically ignored by both sides except to barter with, much like a farmer would with cattle. The last group was the one Chris and I belonged to – the drifters. We worked for whichever side we chose and freely switched to whomever we favored that day. Some of us sold our skills to the highest bidder, but the majority made their own ways honorably. As society progressed, so did the battles. From warlords to kings to Congress, the war never ended; it only grew more entrenched with time. The only thing that kept the war moving even a little bit was the drifters, and damned if we weren’t proud of it, even if we weren’t working for a side to win. Chris explained that most drifters are pulled from other worlds, but he was baffled as to why – or how – I came through as a girl. He explained our mission: to make sure neither side won. We were not mercenaries, we were peacekeepers. We kept schools clean while at the same time maintaining corrupt governments. We directed money into local churches while financing terrorist groups. We did the work nobody would ever claim was being done. As Chris was my first teacher in the world and war, he also became my first disciple. I brought with me many new strategies to the fronts, and I quickly rose in rank as a result. Chris would often invite me to many noted scientists and philosophers, all of who were interested in my case and wanted to help. He also kept a steady flow of new recruits coming into our army, and through him I would meet many of my eventual commanders and confidants. While I’m sure Chris had ulterior motives to staying with me during those initial years, we bonded together like we were made for each other, and it was through our work that the world and war was changed forever.
It brings a tear to my eye to think of our work now. I miss Chris something terrible these days.