Two ficlets this time, because the second follows on from the first.
But Wait, There’s More
“This is your task to undertake,” said Gerkyn the Wizard, “And yours alone. I bid you good luck.”
“Hang on,” said Dwylun. “I haven’t even said if I’m going yet.”
“But you must!”
“No. I’ve got things to do. Bugger off.”
Dwylun slammed the door in Gerkyn’s face. The Wizard couldn’t help but be annoyed. That was the 29th person today to turn down the Sacred Quest. Was there something he wasn’t doing? Something wrong with his pitch? Here he was, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel across the Plains of Geruth, navigate the Woods of Labyr, and destroy the Cursed Daggers in the Fiery Pits of Mornda. You’d have thought there would be more takers.
Wearily, he moved on to the next house, and knocked on the heavy round wooden door. An elderly Wood Elf opened the door.
“Can I help you?”
“Hello there! My name is Gerkyn, and I’d like to take a moment to talk to you about this set of Cursed D—”
SLAM . He hadn’t even had a chance to unravel the demo set. It was going to be a very long day.
Journey Of The Sorcerer
“This is your task to undertake, and yours alone. I bid you good luck.”
Blande the Tree Elf rubbed his chin for a moment and seemed to stare out into space before looking back at the wizard. “Yeah, why not.”
“Wait, hang on,” said Gerkyn, completely taken aback. “You’re actually going to do the quest?”
“Yeah. I’ve been looking for an excuse to get out of the house. It’ll do me good.”
“Fantastic! Let me just get out the paperwork.”
“Although, it sounds dangerous,” Blande said, rubbing his chin again.
“Very,” agreed Gerkyn. “There are dragons in the Woods of Labyr that’ll drag you off by your d—”
“Very dangerous,” Blande repeated. “I’ll need magical aid.”
“Yes, I expect so,” said the wizard. He had an inkling of what direction this was heading in.
“Will you accompany me?”
Gerkyn sighed, and nodded. He was, of course, contractually obliged to go with anyone who bought into the quest. He had things he’d rather be doing, such as continuing to breathe in and out. Still, he if wanted to make the sale…
I love the concept behind this – a Gandalf-like figure who has to go door-to-door to sell epic quests. I liekd it enough to decide I wanted to use it as the basis for the NaNoWriMo novel I didn’t even start writing in November just gone. I’d love to tackle this subject matter again some day.
The first part is definitely a lot stronger, although it’s a touch on the strained side. Part two just feels forced, though. I had a lot I wanted to do – in both of these ficlets – and I guess the 1,024 character limit doesn’t lend itself well. I’m sure a more seasoned writer could do something really great with this concept with an equally limited canvas…
Part two, by the way, is most obviously named after the song of the same name by the Eagles, used as the theme to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I’d decided I wanted to write a ficlet with this title long before I decided to write a follow up to “But Wait, There’s More”.