Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday's Writings: Daniel's Nightmare Chapter 1

I hope you all are having a lovely Wednesday, February 9th! It's a breezy 37 degrees here in Buffalo, just warm enough to stay away from frostbite. 
Today's writing sample is a short story I wrote for my Fiction Writing class Senior year. Don't worry, it's only 2 chapters, but I'm going to do them in parts. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

"Daniel's Nightmare"
Chapter 1
            Two glowing eyes watched Daniel as he slept. They blinked once…just once.
A loud thud awoke the man. Frozen with fright, Daniel lay on the bed, not daring to move. The growls and thuds continued under his bed. I knew I should have moved out of my parent’s house, he thought. Suddenly, beside his head, popped up a grotesque face. Green mist swirled around the head and torso, glowing eyes seemed to pierce through Daniel’s body. Daniel stifled a scream, trying to act like the almost thirty man that he was.
“Daniel.” The face spoke, spewing green foam at Daniel’s form.
Ducking, he avoided most of the foam. “What do you want?”
“I have a message for you.”
“Well, say it and go.” His voice trembled.
“Before the clock strikes the hours of your birth, you must deliver this token,” here the monster reached out and touched a carved stone that hung around Daniel’s neck. “to the great King of the Underworld. If you should fail, you will face the wrath and curse of the great King.”
The monster started to fade back under the bed.
“Wait!” yelled Daniel. “How do I find this great King?”
“He is in the Underworld. You must find passage there.”
“I don’t even know where to start!” the panic started to show in his voice.
“Go to the woods in the meadow. There you will be found by your guide.” In a flash of blinding green light, the monster disappeared.
Panting, Daniel reached up and touched the carved stone. He had found it in the mud around his house when he was a little kid. Something had drawn him to it, and he had begged his mother to string it on a piece of leather. He had worn it ever since.
Now it was some token that he had to deliver to some King. Frightened, Daniel looked at the clock. Three thirty three. Mentally, he calculated how long he had until the hour of his birth. He had approximately twelve hours.
Frantically, he jumped from his bed and grabbed whatever items of clothing he could find. Not wanting to wake his parents, he leaped from his ground story window, landing head first in a large shrub. My dad is going to kill me, he thought as he surveyed the damage. If this King doesn’t kill me first, the second chilling thought sent shivers through his body.
Running like a madman, he plunged recklessly through the hedges that separated his home from his neighbors. A light went on as he passed by their backdoor, but he darted out of reach of the beams. Thoughts flew through his head, sending him mixed signals. Run! Hide! Where’s the meadow! Go back to bed! Run! They continued in an endless cycle.
Finally, after what seemed like ages, he reached the meadow. Breathlessly, he repeated the monster’s directions. “Go to the woods in the meadow.” He looked around puzzled. “What woods?” He had a frightening habit of talking to himself constantly.
There was a blinding flash. He rubbed his eyes trying to rid them of the blinking spots. Suddenly, where there had been nothing but grass and flowers, there stood a small grove of trees.
“OK, this is weird.” Daniel muttered. He debated with himself about entering the copse of trees. “If I go inside the trees, supposedly some guide will find me and take me to this King dude. But, if I don’t go inside the trees, I have to find the King dude on my own, which might never happen. So, I should go inside the trees. But, they appeared out of nowhere, what if I can’t ever get back?” he sighed.
The trees began to fade away, like the fading of fireworks. Daniel shouted and sprinted forward. He dove for the trees, barely making it before they vanished into thin air, returning the meadow to its normal state. Picking himself up, he found himself inside the copse of trees.
“Am I going crazy?” he whispered.
“I surely hope not. I don’t think I could stand guiding a crazy man.”
The sudden voice made Daniel yell. He whirled to find a small green man staring up at him. “Who…are…you?” he gasped.
“I am Middlewirt, your guide. At your service,” he swept off his green hat and bowed low to the ground.
“Oh, hello. I’m Daniel.” He was unsure what he should do, so he just held out his hand.
Middlewirt looked at it disdainfully, until Daniel withdrew it, reddening. “Now, Sir Daniel, I am to lead you to the Underworld. From there you will continue on until you come to the Great King of the Underworld. Then, you will simply hand him the token, and all will be well.”
“Wait, you’re leaving me at the gates of the Underworld?”
“Yes, Sir Daniel, for I cannot go underground. It is forbidden for those of my kind.”
“Forbidden? What am I supposed to do?”
“Follow the path. All paths in the Underworld lead to the King.” Middlewirt explained.
“What’s going to happen to me once I give him the token?”
Middlewirt scratched his head. “In all actuality, I’m not sure. I think the King will transport you back to your home. If not, then you will have to find your way back to the gates and I will meet you once again.”
“You think? Riddlesquirt, I need definite answers here.” Daniel was panicking.
The little green man huffed at the mispronunciation of his name. “It is Middlewirt, Sir Daniel, and I am afraid I can give you no other assurances.”
“Oh, right, sorry Middledirt. Why can’t you?”
Middlewirt rolled his eyes. “What is it with you humans? So stupid. My name is Middlewirt, and I can’t because I don’t have any other assurances besides those which I have already given you. I wish you humans would just learn to take what we say at face value and trust us!”
This time Daniel huffed. “Well, I’m sorry Widdlemirt, but if you had a normal name, I might be able to pronounce it! And all humans are not stupid, we are the most intelligent race of all.”
The green urchin decided not to argue this time. “We have arrived, Sir Manuel. This way.”
“It’s Daniel,” he corrected.
“When you get my name right, I’ll get yours right. Are we clear?” Middlewirt glared at the taller being.
“Fine, let’s go, little green man.”
The little green man rolled his eyes and huffed, but led the way.

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