Thought of the Week: Another Little Story

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.04.17 PMThis week, Ash continues his journey through the lands of Mavelor, the Axe of Darkness in his possession. There are still many dangers still to face, though, and he will face the fiercest demons yet in his quest for the remaining Dark Weapons.



Three Dark Weapons

The Dagger of Hands



By Little Satis



Chapter One

Waves rocked the boat back and forth as Ash sailed through the Sea of Sadness. The water was the color of fresh tears.

Ash was in his cabin. He had long left Sath, and was now going to the Land of Mountains to collect the Dagger of Hands. The Axe of Darkness lay on the table. Ash was polishing his sword when the ship stopped moving.

Ash looked out of the window and saw that the ship had hit an island. He went outside to have a look.

Ash walked onto the island. Suddenly, a girl about his age jumped down from a tree. She punched Ash, and he stumbled back. Ash found himself on the ground with the girl looking over him. She took his dagger and ran away. Ash got up and followed her.


Chapter Two

Ash followed the girl up the tree, and into a sort of treehouse. The floor was made of twigs sewn together by old leaves.

“Who are you?” said Ash.

“Get out!” said the girl.

“Who are you?” said Ash again.

“I am Emily,” said the girl. “What do you want with me?”

“Why did you take my dagger?” said Ash.

“I need it to survive after Shadow Lord killed my parents,” said Emily.

“How would you like to destroy Shadow Lord?” said Ash.

“I want to, but I can’t,” said Emily.

“Yes you can,” said Ash. “I’m on a quest to save Mavelor. I have the Axe of Darkness already.”

“I will come,” said Emily.


Chapter Three

Ash was sailing again in no time. Emily was examining the Axe of Darkness, and Ash was polishing his sword again. Ash had let Emily keep the dagger.

The ship hit land ten days later. Ash and Emily walked onto the land. They were in the Land of the Mountains, and there were mountains everywhere, but the one that stood out was Dark Mountain. It was taller than the other mountains, and it was black. There was a ring of thunder clouds around the top of it.

Ash and Emily started to climb it.

“Ah!” said Ash as a stone came loose and he slid down a couple of feet. Then — a giant spider landed in front of him.


Chapter Four

The spider took a leap. It landed with a thud, causing a mini avalanche. Ash drew his sword, and Emily took out her dagger. Ash stabbed one of the spider’s many eyes. It howled in pain, but kept fighting for its prey.

Emily leapt on the spider, but was thrown off. Then the spider attacked Ash. He got out of the way, and cut off the spider’s leg. Then the spider jumped onto Ash. It looked at him, then planted a strike on Ash’s shoulder.

He yelled, and cut off another of the spider’s legs, and then jumped on its neck. Ash dug his sword into the spider’s neck, and cut off the spider’s head.

Ash made a splint for his shoulder out of two twigs.

“I’m glad that’s over,” said Emily.

“Me too,” said Ash.


Chapter Five

Ash and Emily kept climbing until they saw a tree, and most surprisingly, it had leaves. They had seen other trees, but they were dead with no leaves.

Ash saw a stone with writing on it. Emily read it.

“Follow the line into the sky,

“take the scroll.”

They saw a line leading up into the tree. They climbed up, and on the branch was a scroll. Ash read it.

“Gone too far you have,

“to the spider you must go

“into the cave goes the bear.”

“I think we need to go to where we got attacked by the spider,” said Emily.

“Come on,” said Ash.


Chapter Six

Ash and Emily stood where they had got attached. There in front of them was a cave. It was filled with smaller spiders, but they were big enough to kill a man. They went in.

Walking slowly and quietly, they went through. They saw a spider with a scroll tied to it. Ash untied it, and the spider woke up. It hissed, and more spiders woke up. Ash drew his sword; Emily already had her dagger out.

The spiders jumped on them. Ash swung his sword at them. Emily sliced two spiders completely in half.

“I killed eighteen spiders,” said Ash.

“Twenty,” said Emily. “Make that twenty-one,” as she stabbed a spider.

Ash stabbed the last spider.

“Thirty,” said Ash.

“I got thirty-seven,” said Emily.

“Darn!” said Ash.


Chapter Seven

Ash read the scroll.

“Go into the mountain

“through the door,

“one wrong turn

“and you’ll end up with Thor.”

“Thor is the god of thunder,” said Ash.

They went through the metal door. They walked onto a stone bridge. It had two paths. They went through the door on the left. They found themselves in a chamber.

Suddenly, there was a loud thunder clap, and the chamber collapsed. They got out just in time.

“That’s what the scroll meant by Thor,” said Ash.

They went through the door on the right, and there was a troll. It had four small beady eyes, and a giant club. Ash drew his sword, and Emily took out her dagger.


Chapter Eight

The troll swung his club, but the club was so big it was not hard to dodge. They dodged the attack. The troll swung again, but it missed. Then, it hit the ground behind it, and hit Ash. He dropped his sword as he was sent flying back. It was up to Emily now.

She dodged an attack, and jumped on the troll’s head. Then she stabbed it, and jumped off. Emily landed on the ground on her feet.

Ash got up. They went into the next chamber. There was a dragon. It was black, and obviously evil. Riding it was a Shadow Knight, and he held the Dagger of Hands.


Chapter Nine

Ash drew his sword; Emily took out her dagger. The dragon roared, and fire came out of its mouth.

Ash spotted a blue ring on the ground. He recognized it instantly — it was a magic ring. He put it on, and with his finger made a symbol:

Up Symbol

It turned into a shield. Ash took it as the dragon breathed fire. The shield broke, but protected Ash. Suddenly, Ash knew what to do. He jumped, avoiding a great jet of fire. He stabbed the dragon in the mouth. It could no longer breath fire.

They jumped together — and a dagger and a sword pierced the dragon’s eyes. It went wild, and flew into the air. It flew around the chamber, hitting many walls. Then, it fell.

The Shadow Knight freed himself from underneath the dragon.

“I am Woulf,” said the Shadow Knight.

“Seriously?” said Ash.

Woulf attacked. He held the Dagger of Hands’ underside. Ash tried to parry, but his sword met nothing but thin air. Then he felt a pain in his stomach. He fell to his knees, and dropped his sword.


Chapter Ten

“No!” cried Emily as Ash fell to the ground. She grabbed her dagger, and clashed with Woulf. She parried an attack. She kicked Woulf, knocking him off balance. She took her chance. She delivered as many cuts and wounds as she could, and finally, she stabbed Woulf in the heart.

She ran to Ash, and took the ring off his finger. She made yet another symbol:

Down Symbol

It blasted into Ash. Ash stood up.

“Thank you,” he said.

He and Emily walked out of the chamber. It was a long trip down the mountain. They sailed toward their next destination, but neither of them knew the danger yet to come.

Thought of the Week: A Little Story

The Axe of Darkness

Sorry for the delay this week – same problems as last week, you know.

Anyway, short and sweet: I thought I’d share a little story with you. It’s very special and inventive, and was originally written out by hand in the small hours of the morning before everyone woke up. It took a lot of effort, and reflects a labor of love. Amazingly, it’s only the first of four such stories, which together form an epic fantasy, spanning an entire world and pitting our hero against unsurmountable forces of darkness.

I wonder where the inspiration came from.


Three Dark Weapons

The Axe of Darkness


By Little Satis




Chapter One

Ash lived in a land called Sath. Life there was good; he had friends, his mother and father gave him food and shelter. Life was good, except for one thing: the land was owned by the villainous Shadow Lord. There were only three known weapons that could defeat him: the Axe of Darkness, the Dagger of Hands and the Sword of Death.

Ash felt that they were evil weapons, but he thought that evil could defeat evil. His father had attempted to take the weapons, but before he could even start the quest a tree fell on him, and injured his leg badly. Ash was only thirteen when he got the greatest surprise of his life.


Chapter Two

“Ash,” said Roan when he came back to his house. Roan was Ash’s father.

“What?” said Ash.

“The time has come for you to take on the quest that I never started.”

“What?” said Ash again. “You don’t mean the Three Weapons Quest?”

“Yes, I do,” said Roan.

“No,” said Ash. “I will not go.”

“You must,” said Anna, Ash’s mother.

“I don’t even know how to wield a sword,” said Ash.

“That is why I will teach you,” said Roan.

Ash saw he was going no matter what (unless there was something like a storm). “Okay,” he said. “When do we start?”


Chapter Three

Ash started to train the next day, and the next. He kept getting cuts and scrapes.

“Ow!”, he said one day as he cut himself with his sword. Roan walked over to Ash.

“You have to be more careful,” said Roan as he cleaned the cut.

Then three figures jumped over the wall.

“Shadow Knights!” said Roan as he drew his sword.

They were clad in black armor with wickedly curved swords, but Roan was ready to fight. In three swift chops of Roan’s blade, the Shadow Knights lay dead on the ground.

“Wow,” said Ash.

“Let’s get you trained,” said Roan.


Chapter Four

One month later, Ash was ready to go. He had a sword and a dagger, and wore a vest of armor under his shirt. He was walking into a forest. Its trees had no leaves. He stepped into the forest, and found himself in the middle of the forest.

There was no path behind him. He took a step back and found himself on the path.

“Clever,” said Ash. “Illusions.”

He walked on until a beast stopped him. It had two fangs, one hundred teeth, big claws and two black hungry eyes.


Chapter Five

The beast attacked. Ash jumped and drew his sword. He landed on his feet. He swung his sword at the beast, but missed. The evil beast snapped its jaws, and nearly took off Ash’s arm. Ash swung his sword at the beast, and missed again. Then the beast pounced on Ash. Ash struggled to free himself, but he couldn’t. Then he freed one hand, and managed to plunge his sword into the belly of the beast.

It howled and stood on hind legs, and fell. Ash ran away; he was glad to be rid of the beast.


Chapter Six

Ash slowed to a walk. He thought he wouldn’t make as much noise, and would be less likely to attract any more beasts. He kept walking until he got to a clearing of green grass.

“That’s funny,” said Ash. The rest of the grass around it was gray. He walked onto the patch of green grass, fell  and began to sink — it was quicksand!


Chapter Seven

Ash struggled, but he only sunk deeper. He saw a vine and clung on to it, but it broke and got sucked into the quicksand.

“Help!” cried Ash, but he knew it was pointless.

Suddenly, another beast came, and another. Soon there were ten beasts, hoping for fresh meat. Ash sunk more, and the beasts drew nearer. Then, Ash was sucked under.


Chapter Eight

Ash fell out of a trap door under the quicksand. He was in a chamber. Before him was a door, and out of the door came ten Shadow Knights.

Ash drew his sword. The Shadow Knights attacked. Ash’s sword parried the first Shadow Knight’s sword and stabbed him. Ash made quick work of the rest; in nine chops, they were dead.

He went into the next chamber, to find the Axe of Darkness held by a Shadow Knight. This Shadow Knight had gray armor, and horns on his helm.


Chapter Nine

The Shadow Knight said, “I am Sta.”

Sta attacked. Ash blocked the attack, but was sent flying back.

“You cannot defeat me when I carry the Axe of Darkness,” said Sta. “You are pathetic.”

Ash got to his feet. He stabbed Sta in the knee, but Sta didn’t even flinch. Then Sta got a lucky shot and cut off Ash’s left hand.

Ash swung his sword and cut off Sta’s head. Ash picked up the Axe of Darkness and put it to his wrist, which was bleeding badly. Then, his hand was restored.


Chapter Ten

Ash stood up, holding the Axe of Darkness. He slammed it against the wall. The wall broke, and daylight came in. He walked outside to find the ten beasts were still there.

He took out his sword, and then put it away. He had the Axe of Darkness — there was no need for a messy sword fight.

He slammed it into the ground, and caused an earthquake that killed the beasts. He had won.

Ash was one step closer to freeing Sath from the Shadow Lord.

Tales of Despair: Swift Waters Under a Fantasy Bridge

One would normally consider children’s stories – the good ones, at least – to be intriguing, witty, adventurous and begetting a danger that resolves into a heartfelt and touching conclusion. Roald Dahl is wonderful at this; I remember well the tension of so many of his stories; the awful churning as Danny crept through the woods in the middle of the night, looking for his missing father; I remember holding my breath as Sophie hid from the Bloodbottler in a giant snozzcumber, only to end up in the giants mouth; I recall trembling as I turned the pages of The Witches, unable to believe that hero of the story had actually been turned into a mouse.

This particular tale is rather unique in its direction, in that – unlike the rather mediocre movie it spawned – the main character goes through an irreversible change (in this case a metamorphosis) that affects the remainder of his life, even after the end of the tale. The ending of this book is bittersweet; we learn that the boy will never return to human form, and is likely to die within the next few years – around the same time that his beloved grandmother will. What an ending for a children’s book.

There are many stories in the world of great change – of things never going back to how they were. These are the tales that leave us feeling sad and bittersweet, and are the ones that touch our hearts. The Lord of the Rings is such a tale; so is To Kill a Mockingbird, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Pet Semetary. Some tales speak of the ultimate change, and bring our characters beyond the edge of death. This is the realm of the classical tragedy, epitomized in works such as Romeo and Juliet.

But these themes of strife, and pain, and death – they are not the themes you would expect of a children’s tale. Even tragedies that involve children (Pet Semetary springs to mind as a particularly gut-churning example) are not written for children.

So what, then, was Katherine Paterson thinking when she wrote the wonderful tale, Bridge to Terabithia? I was young – quite young – when I first read this story. I was innocent, and the closest I had come in literature to tragedy was the Hardy Boys (if anyone remembers, Joe’s girlfriend, Iola, dies in the Casefiles series). It was a cute story, I remember thinking; I identified very much with little Jess, lonely and depressed and shut off, and the strong desire to have a friend with whom to share your innermost thoughts.

Jess, who could draw so well; Leslie, who could bring this out of him so well. She, who could invent entire worlds, and make them so real that Jess could veritably live in them with her. At first, of course, he’s unable to see, but as their relationship deepens (never love, but a iron-clad friendship), he begins to imagine her worlds with her, and they spend many days deep in the woods, crossing the dry riverbed to the wonderful land of Terabithia.

The land that, along with her, would come crashing down. The land that would be flooded and washed away, stripped of life by the same waters that stole hers.

And the land that, in time, would come to be his only saving grace; the one he would build a bridge to.

I cried bitter tears to read this story as a child, and it brings them to my eyes to write of it now. I felt betrayed – how could she? How could that be how it ended? It was a children’s book – people don’t die in children’s books.

But of course, people do die in our children’s lives. And it is a horror, and a tragedy, but it is also a part of life; they are rare, but those tales that touch on our mortality, and teach us the frailty of life, are the ones to be cherished above all others.