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Edited by Jphn 33: 4/16/2015 5:56:57 AM

Death is Just the Beginning (Short Story)

Seeing that everyone has decided to start writing, I figured: Meh, why not? This is not a Flood fan fiction, so nobody needs to apply for spaces or anything. I'm just going to put the opening here, and if you guys like it, I'll write more. Edit: Yes, this story is based off Dark Souls. :D Prologue: [spoiler][i]In a faraway forest, in a long-forgotten land, a bright light shines the way for many a traveler. It lights up the clearing it is centered in, illuminating the crumbling pillars and decrepit walls of what could only have been a mighty fortress in a time since passed. Now, it was all but destroyed, and the only thing to remember it by was the light that had been there from the beginning. The light is cast by a fire, but not just any fire. This fire has warmth like none other, and the flames rise lazily from the bones that fueled it. The energy simply floats up. It is not like a regular fire, where the flames hastily lick at and consumed all in its path. This flame lingers, takes its time. It does not have the need to consume or to rush along- this flame had been around longer than anything in the area, and the original flames had been the oldest of all. A single, warped sword rises from the middle of the bones, serving almost as a marker that this was something special. But the flame does not need any extra identification. All know that this is a special flame, and it is a beacon for those lost, both in themselves and in the vast world. The flame does not think itself special, though. It simply burns on, as it always had. It did not care for the wars that had brought down the fortress, or the cataclysmic events which had first formed the valley where the trees grew. The fire simply burned. It always had, and always would. It does not care what it is called. It is a savior, a saint, a beacon. It is hope, the object of desire, a guardian angel. It is called many things. But to all, it is known as a bonfire.[/i] [/spoiler] Chapter One [spoiler]The sun rose that morning, just as it had a million times before. Light peeked over the mountains, creeping across the land and shining upon treetops and roofs of the valley below. Birds chirped and sang and deer ran through dew-encrusted leaves. The sounds of a city only just waking followed soon after, full of shouts, cries, and the occasional laughter. The streets were soon bustling with people moving their carts and rushing to get to their respective places of work. Beggars took their posts as did the guards, and the merchants began crying out their wares. It was just like any other normal day. Just like the day before, and the day before that, and every day a month past, a bell rang in a local cathedral, marking the first hour of the day, the first hour of sunlight. This bell was a signal to many, and a friend to all. The bell began ringing that morning through the crisp spring air, causing a man to stir in his bed. His bedroom was quite small, and his possessions were few, but his bed was not usually empty. This morning, though, he awoke alone. The blonde-haired man got up and dressed, scrubbing his stubbled face with his only bar of soap. He checked the mirror as he did every day. His face was still chiseled from stone, his nose still pointed as ever, and his eyes ever a deep, dark blue. On his way out, he grabbed his keys, his dagger, and his reading glasses. After making sure the wooden door on his house was locked, the man stepped out into the muddy street. It was not crowded, just like always. His was a little city, not big enough to garner attention from the wealthy elites, but not small enough to be called a village. It had all the essentials; a cathedral, a library, a barracks, a prison, a mayor’s building, a school, and all the usual merchant shops. Nothing more, and nothing less. It was just the way the man liked it. Passing by the cathedral, he couldn’t help but peer inside. Ever since the bishop had moved in, things had been better. Things had been changing. The man did not like change. But perhaps this change was a good thing. Inside, he saw the kindly old bishop giving some bread to an elderly woman. Indeed, it might have been a change for the better. Then, the man caught something in the bishop’s eye, a little twinkle. His old doubts returned about the man, just like every time he had passed. The man walked up to the local library and pulled out his keys, unlocking the doors of knowledge for all. Just as the large iron doors swung open, many students rushed in, eager to find books for their upcoming classes. Then, the man felt a tap on his shoulder. “Hello Mr. Luke!” Luke turned around to see that a boy, not yet over five feet tall, was standing on the steps, wearing a smile that told the world of its splendor. “Hello, Bert. What will it be today?” The boy grinned even wider, clutching his books to his chest. “Well, I just finished ‘Kings and Queens’ last night, I was hoping to rent out ‘Ancient Kingdoms’ next!” Luke smiled and walked over to his desk. Checking his papers, he frowned and looked around his table. He looked at the boy, so eager to learn, and his heart sank. Luke hated disappointing those who were so eager to learn. “I’m sorry, but Mrs. Alkowitz has it right now. She takes a long time to read, so-“ Luke stopped when he saw the look on poor Bert’s face. It was of utter disappointment, not unlike the one he must have worn so many years ago. Luke cleared his throat. “You know what, I’ll go ask Mrs. Alkowitz if you can borrow it for a bit. You know her, she probably won’t mind.” Bert’s face lit up again, and he said a rushed ‘Thank you’ before dropping off his books and heading into the library, searching for more knowledge. Smiling, Luke leaned back in his chair and looked out the window, which granted him a marvelous view of the main street and the forest beyond. He loved his work, and he loved his town. He loved the people, and the weather. Everything was perfect. Then, he caught something that was out of place. Someone he had never seen before. Someone that made his skin crawl. Down the road, he spotted a man dressed in a black cloak and armor, his face hardened and heavily bearded. Over his shoulder was strung a greatsword, which Luke could only have guessed was just as fearsome as the man himself. “Hello!” A voice distracted him from his musings. Looking up, he had the biggest shock of his life. Before him was the bishop, smiling pleasantly, holding a book labeled: “Ancient Kingdoms.”[/spoiler] Chapter Two [spoiler] “Excuse me, sir?” Luke broke out of his trance, realizing shortly afterwards, much to his embarrassment, that he had been staring open-mouthed at the bishop. After composing himself, Luke put on a convincingly warm smile and greeted the man. “Hello, my name is Luke. How may I help you today?” “Luke? My name is Arnold, and may I say I am pleased to meet you!” The bishop extended a withered hand towards Luke, who shook it with a smile, all the while pondering the bishop’s ulterior motive. “I met with Mrs. Alkowitz this morning, and she is deathly ill. She wanted me by her side, for a prayer, in the hopes that it would aid in her recovery. I offered to perform a Miracle for her, but she simply smiled and said that a prayer was enough.” The bishop then lifted the book and handed it to Luke. “She said she wanted to give this back to you, just in case she did not make it.” The bishop smiled then, holding both his hands close to his chest, being as pleasant as any human being could be. Looking at the book, Luke nodded. “I am so sorry. Please, give her my regards. I really do hope she gets better.” The bishop seemed to glow happily, then turned and walked out of the library. Not one minute after the bishop left, Luke got up hastily and inquired about Mrs. Alkowitz. Everyone he talked to confirmed that she was indeed ill, and that her plight was a sad one indeed. Begrudgingly, Luke had to accept the fact that the bishop was not as vile as he had hoped. He combed the many well-worn shelves for Bert, who shrieked excitedly at the sight of the tome Luke held. Luke sat down once again, pondering. “Perhaps I should check on Mrs. Alkowitz...” he mused. But he knew he would not do it. Just like any other day, his extravagant plans and intricate thoughts would be put to rest when he visited the local pub, and he would drink to his merry life in his small town. Perhaps a girl would distract him, but usually, it was his own drinking that led to his forgetting. And just like always, he’d stumble home and sleep a content sleep. Then, a thought came to his mind. The traveler with the large sword. “Maybe I won’t go to the pub tonight.” Picking up his favorite book, Luke aimed to drown his worries with fiction, but was interrupted when Bert came to his desk. “Mr. Luke? I think there’s a problem…” Luke sat up, wondering what was wrong. Bert was not usually one to worry. “What is it?” Bert then opened the book and flipped through the pages, to reveal one smattered with blood. Astounded, Luke took the book. “Poor Mrs. Alkowitz…” Luke murmured. “She must have coughed up this blood onto the book. I wonder if I can even get this cleaned..” Luke rubbed the dried blood on the pages, and some flaked off, and something fell from the encrusted blood. Confused, Luke picked up the strange little paper and unfolded it, revealing spidery handwriting in a tongue he did not recognize. [/spoiler] [url=]Chapter Three[/url] [url=]Chapter Four[/url] [url=]Chapter Five[/url]

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