Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #89
Krane was bombarded with memories he had long since forgotten. A competition, indescribable horrors, and of course his long lost brother. They were intrusive and unwanted. His leg burned under his weight, so he lay down, wincing as he settled in the tall grass he found himself in. Why had he forgotten?
Oh, that’s right. So that he couldn’t ‘Cheat on the test’ as the Overseer had told him.
Him and his brother had taken the impossible task.
Secure the six armed beast that prowled the tall grass, the last creature created by the Hunter as a test for those after him. If they did they would be showered with glory and praise! Riches and gold! Bah. A ruse, for it truly was an impossible task.
He and his brother hunted the beast relentlessly for a week. Tracking and trekking through hill and vale, through boiling heat and blistering cold. They began to lose hope when they started to find half eaten carcasses of gargantuan creatures littering the landscape. They soon found deep paw prints of a predator they had not encountered before, with two toes on each leg that seemed to end in hook like projections, judging by the way the animal left violent trenches in the dry earth as it ran.
When they set up camp at night, they began to hear deep ululating roars which pierced the mind and soul alike, and after the mighty sound subsided, the usual soft noises of jungle nightlife would remain eerily absent for at least half an hour before cautiously returning.
This only served to further excite the brothers- this was truly an apex predator to test their skills to the limit!
Unfortunately, when they finally came across the creature, it proved itself too great of a challenge to overcome. It could move quicker than any man, its six arms tipped with talons capable of shredding steel and shearing through bone.
It took his leg, left him bloodied and desperate.
Fortunately, he and his brother had been trained long ago in the art of using the materials around them, using various herbs and ointments to keep infection at bay and promote healing of otherwise mortal injuries.
Torin saw this as a sign that they could not best this beast, but Krane was feverish with anger at the loss of his leg and he allowed the need for revenge to consume him. They argued bitterly for days about whether to give up or to pursue this perilous quest. Neither brother was able to compromise with the other.
Finally, they split up. Torin leaving for the third plateau as soon as Krane was well enough to walk. Krane bellowed curses after his brother long after he had departed. Krane had carved his own leg from a tree and had hunted for two more weeks alone. Blood, sweat and copious amounts of resources left him with nothing, until even he admitted to himself that he could not go on.
Five years had passed, and all the associated emotions, which had been buried deep, came flooding back, raw and raging. Now he was back where he began, in the tall grass, and for what purpose?
He sank to his knees with the knowledge. When his head had stopped pounding he heaved his hammer into the air. Pain in his leg long forgotten. He was going to slay the demon from his past and be free once again. A slow smile spread on his face as he felt the excitement and adrenaline run through his veins once again.
Sam was very confused. What was that thing? It was made up of wood… It flew! His sister had suggested this climb as a therapeutic session, a distraction from his addiction. A hike to the top, lasting a couple of weeks. Oh how wrong they had been. He had seen monster deer and other waking nightmares. He had enough material to write a novel! To make matters worse they had apparently climbed the wrong side of the mountain. They had missed out on the first Checkpoint thingy. What a shame, he would have loved to see the sights. His sister had been content with simply staying there, building a life for herself. Finding a lover, having a stone cat, living out the rest of her years. Sam? He didn’t really know.
Ah. He was having the shakes again. His very bones seemed to rattle in his arms as the withdrawals took him over. They were more like miniature convulsions than ‘Shakes.’ When they had passed he was surprised to see the looming goat skull mask of the Overseer directly in front of him.
“Hello there!” It announced in its cheery sing song like voice that somehow still seemed to sound like wind passing through the trees.
“I’m here to tell you about the test! Mmm… You have a strange obstacle to overcome Mr Human.” The bluish green fires seemed to peer into his soul, weighing every misdeed and crime. Every pill swallowed and every line taken. Needless to say it wasn’t a very nice experience.
“Ah! I’ve found it! Your obstacle is your dependence. This place is fine tuned to you, so it will react to the things inside you. Specifically it will react to your regrets, bad deeds, horrible things you’ve done. It will make obstacles you need to overcome! If you don’t you’ll die. Simple as that! Toodle doo!” It waved its hand, beating its wings once before dropping out of sight, into the ground from where it emerged. Not even a full second later he felt all the symptoms of withdrawal again, but they were amplified. It felt as if someone had stuffed a water balloon through his ears and into his nose. There was a cruel little man with a gong that was banging away in his sensitive brain. His skin felt both on fire and ice cold simultaneously. He had to choke out breath as he fell to the ground and rolled down the hill to the stream that cut through the land.
End of Benji’s Fun Fact Story Corner #89