Wednesday, March 3, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: prompt 4


 I'm doing the challenge but from a website this time. I also want to give a shout-out to this site. It's fantastic. The generators for names have names for anything you could think of, and they are organized conveniently. The more I look at it, the more I find. At first, I thought it was a simple website with just a few generators on it, but it's not; if you have a chance, you should check it out. 

Okay, let's be honest there is no way I'll be able to write a 350-word story; however, I want it to still be a complete short today, not a chapter of a more extensive work like the last few things have turned into, so I have worked that out. While I could revisit these characters in the future, I don't have to for the story to be finished. 

Credit for today's prompt, and link below.

Write a 350-word story in the adventure genre. It's about a ruthless murderer and should include a bucket. Also, use the sentence 'I will end you for this.' Bonus prompt: The story takes place in a desert.

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 1


Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter One: Pitfall

"Hey Davern, you think we'll find the cause for the disappearances around here?"

Davern turned around and glared at his brother, adjusting the scarf on his face and shifting in his seat so that the hump of the animal beneath him wasn't bothering him so fiercely as before. "Evon, If I've told you once. I've told you a thousand times, don't jinx us!"

"Whatcha mean, I was just asking?"

"Every time you ask, something like that bad shit ensues shortly after," Davern grumbled, not entirely under his breath; turning his head to scan the vast amount of desert in front of him, he didn't have a clue where to start.

"Davern, what did you say? I can't hear you."


"I know you said something."

"I said it was nothing."

"Now shut up; Davern's skin prickled all of a sudden when he didn't hear a response from his brother behind him. There was no way Evon would let him get away with saying shut up.

He spun in his saddle, and there was nothing behind him in the vast expanse of the desert; "damn you, Evon, you dang bloody jinx. I knew I should have made this trip alone; that guy can't keep himself out of trouble for more than a minute." Davern grumbled, dismounting and carefully making his way back along his trail to the spot Evon's tracks disappeared, camel and all. 

"Well, at least I know why there were no visible signs on top of the desert. Some smart-aleck has made something underneath. Since the bone-head doesn't like to walk directly behind me, he triggered the trap."

Davern pulled out a probe from his pack and started poking the sand around where his brother's tracks had stopped until he heard a hard thunk; then he marked it and kept at it until he got a rough outline of the trap.

Davern started going about uncovering it in an efficient but rapid way. Who knows what kind of trouble his brother had gotten into while he was dicking around up here.

He knocked the lever, and the mechanism swung down. He steadied his camel and staked it out next to the opening before anchoring a rope to the side and dropping it down into the cavern below.

A pungent smell wafted up from the disturbed air below. Davern thought he heard a faint whimper below, his gut clenched, and his unhurried amble suddenly became urgent.

Davern had an uneasy feeling he couldn't explain. He ignored all the safety protocols; he always drummed into his brother's head before they made a decent into anywhere. He made a quick wrap with the rope, and pulled on his gloves, grabbed his sliders, clipped them onto the rope, and leaped over the edge.

Davern would stop before he was near the bottom. In a trap like this one, there was bound to be something near the bottom to injure the person falling from above; and if his brother was hurt, he needed to be fast, but he couldn't let himself get hurt as well.

As he neared the bottom, he heard the sound of water dripping into what sounded like a pool, and the smell grew even more pungent, the sickeningly sweet smell of rotting meat. He pulled his scarf closer around his nose and breathed through his mouth. Squeezing the lever on the sliders, he slowed his momentum and came to a stop hugging the wall. His ears perked, swiveling to the sound of water, his parched throat involuntarily swallowed.

He heard the moan again, and he turned his body to the sound, recognizing his brother's voice odd; he seemed to be right above the pool of water. Davern's mind couldn't map out what the room looked like from the feeling around him. It felt open but dank because of the smell. He could hear water, but it still had the overbearing oppression and heat of the desert; though slightly cooler than above, it didn't have the coolness that an aquifer would bring.

He reached into his back pocket and pulled out one of his emergency stones, pressed the indent, and shook the contents mixing the fluid to bring light to the situation. His stomach tossed, and he wanted to retract his last actions; holding in the contents of his breakfast, he looked around the artificial cavern. There were streaks of blood. Decaying bodies, or rather skeletons.

In the dim light, Davern could see tool marks that bit deep into bones; that had been made when the meat was hacked off the remains if the desiccated material left on the bones could even be called meat. But that wasn't where the smell was coming from; the smell was coming from the bucket of blood where the camel and his brother hung above, slowly bleeding out.

The moment the lights came on, and he realized that the sound wasn't water, he headed for his brother, his mind taking in all the details, categorizing them by importance, and discarding them. He knew that they weren't alone down here, and he didn't know how many of them there were, and he knew that without Evon, if there were more than one while, he wasn't exactly a sitting duck; odds weren't in his favor either.

He pulled his brother down from the device, assessed his wounds, and realized that he was in pretty bad shape; they needed to get out of here as soon as possible. But he also needed to do his job and stop whoever was doing this. He dumped a healing powder onto Evon's neck and stopped the bleeding, he could see it begin to mend the flesh back together, but that didn't stop the fact that he'd lost a lot of blood. He plastered on a bandage that would keep everything in place and tried to stop for a moment to think.

They weren't anywhere safe enough for him to transfuse him either. The camel looked to be a goner; the weight alone had shoved a spike deep into its neck, and while it was still alive, he didn't think he could save it. The device was obviously made to keep the victims alive for a while while they bled out, and then the person would do something with the blood and remains.

He popped his guild communicator and sent an emergency message to the guild just in case they didn't make it out; there would at least be a record of the event. He had a potion that might help tide him over 'til they could get back to town. He carefully administered what he could to his unconscious brother, who moaned and his head lulled to the side.

Davern heard a sound behind him and put his brother down near the rope he'd used to climb down on and clipped the harness onto his body as quickly as he could. Then tugged on it, giving the camel above the signal to begin hoisting up. He didn't want his injured brother down here with whatever that was.

He heard a scraping sound as if something heavy was being dragged. The air stilled oppressive and dampening, and then a glow that shouldn't have appeared in human eyes flashed at the opening of the tunnel at the dimmest edge of the stone's light. a grating shriek, "what have you done?" The stone flickered and died, throwing the room into darkness. 

"Damnit, Davern swore, "those weren't supposed to die so fast;" he'd have to have a word or two with Gavis when he got back if he made it; out alive...

Davern heard a clatter of bones to the right. He resisted turning in that direction and turned to the left, bringing up his arm guard to block. He felt a heavy blunt object crash into his arm. He was knocked off balance and spun, trying to locate the person in the darkness. He tried to get his guard up and block whatever that person was aiming for.

He heard the air of a weapon coming from the side, but it didn't hit him. A clatter hit the wall and a grunt, and the whirl of the rope being dragged through the anchor. He turned towards the sounds reached into his hip pouch, fumbling in his hurry for another light-stone. Whatever it was, it was after his brother, and he had to stop it.

Davern pressed the button; nothing happened. He felt the click on the stone between his fingers the swish of the metal, but nothing worked, he grabbed another, and the same thing happened. Davern stopped his fingers from grabbing a third, he knew that there wasn't anything wrong with the stones, and if he didn't take action against the creature, he could very well lose his brother.

He tried to focus his mana towards his eyes to activate a sight spell, but nothing seemed to be working.

Trapped in the darkness with a monster that could null magic just great, he thought, and it was after his brother. He took a deep breath, decided that it didn't matter if he couldn't see. That didn't stop him from being able to hear, and the thing obviously didn't want to fight him head-on. So there was still a chance that he could get them out of this.

His brother had almost reached the floor of the cavern; he could hear the creature laboring harder as he took on more weight. Davern moved towards the sounds locating their bodies. The beast tried to knock him back again, but he brought up his arm guard. Davern didn't think bringing out his weapon would be a good idea. He couldn't see what he was aiming at, and he didn't want to wound Evon by mistake.

A violent strike hit him on the left side of his body. He wasn't prepared for it as there hadn't been a sound before it hit him. He grunted and hit the wall, "How dare you try to steal my prey."

Davern heard a sound just above him and jumped despite the pain. "I'm not stealing your prey, bastard. I'm saving my brother." He grabbed ahold of his brother's body and rolled them to the side, away from the noise he heard beside him; Davern knew that they were in a bad way. He couldn't mount an effective defense against something that could nullify their magic, see in the dark, and had them blind. Then it clicked.

He cursed, and Davern realized his only hope was to get them the hell out of its sphere of influence and be able to use that item that he didn't want to use. But it was their last resort at the moment.

He knew what this thing was. He thought they were a myth, and he was going to chew Gavis a new ear for sending them to investigate a Nuller. He didn't understand how he was still alive and why it wasn't hurting him directly and was only after his brother. That made no sense unless there was something wrong with it.

Davern had rolled to the left away from the Nuller, and the camel was on the right. The rope was behind, which meant that the opening should be not far from where he was if he could only find it. He could get out of the Nuller's sphere of influence and report into the guild.

They could send a bigger team. Davern's team would have to pay a fine for not completing the mission by themselves. Still, at this point, he thought reporting finding a Nuller's nest was more critical than any penalty that he would have to pay. Hell, he might even get lucky and not have to pay at all. His thoughts were racing as he tried to keep his ears perked for any sounds of the Nuller and still find the opening to escape.

Davern hadn't made it five feet when he felt something hard and heavy strike him in the back of the head; his eyes spun, and all of a sudden, he saw eyes in front of his, a splatter of spittle on his face.


It jerked Evon from Davern's arms, and he groaned out, "I won't let it end like this," as he sunk into darkness."

Previous Toc Next

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 2

Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Two: Sand Spider

Davern felt heavy. His head throbbed from whatever he'd been doing the night before. His ears rang, and his airway felt blocked. He coughed, trying to draw in more air. The light penetrated through his eyelids stabbed into his brain, making him more irritable.

"Evon, turn off the light; my head is killing me," he tried to bring his hand up to his head to help ease the ache and jerked his eyes open with a jolt before groaning and promptly closing them again.

"Goddamn. Bloody. Rotten. Nuller!"

His stomach rolled as he swung through the air on the rope, his ears rang, and he clenched his teeth. At least he could do something about these ropes. He grimaced, cracking his eyes. Scanning the ground below him, he wasn't looking forward to the landing.

The brilliant illumination from the stones burned his eyes as he slowly opened them wider. He sighed. "What a waste." Gavis was going to be pissed at the excessive use of resources. "Well, he's the one who sent us out here without any warning. I'm charging him double for this crappy mission," he mumbled; at least the waste of good stones let him know that the Nuller was no longer in the room.

He shifted his eyes around and spotted the camel chained to the wall. Some kind of muddy paste splattered over its wound to stop the bleeding. Though why it was still alive was beyond him. Why he was alive also confused him. Then he looked around, noticing that the bucket of blood was missing.

Where was Evon? If he was here, and so was the camel his brother should be too, shouldn't he? His eyes glanced at the desiccated remains of past visitors, or maybe not. He thought. He felt another wave of nausea pass through him. It didn't really matter at this point if he fell or not; his brother was more important than a few bruises.

He murmured a spell under his breath and let the magic course through his body and out from his hands, entangling within the ropes that bound him until they untied themselves. Ordinary chore magic sure came in handy sometimes, he thought.

Then cursed, when his shoulder hit the ground, he hadn't been far enough up to do serious harm, but it still stung when he smacked into the hard-packed soil littered in bone shards. Davern lay there in a heap for a second before he rolled over and began retching, his head spinning; he could only hear ringing in his ears. He could only feel grateful that he wasn't hanging upside down any longer.

He sat up and wiped his hand and then went to wipe it off on his pant leg only to discover something even more obnoxious. "I'm going to skin that Nuller alive..." He turned to look at the camel closer and could see that even it had the packs taken from it.

Davern stood up naked, as the day he'd been born; not a weapon in sight, and didn't relish his odds. He looked up. The damn creature had already reset the trap; he wouldn't be surprised if his camel was down here somewhere too.

There wasn't anything left he could do but gather what he could from the immediate area and then try and find his brother. Davern could only hope that he wouldn't be too late when he found him.

He gathered up the glow stones and then looked around for something to put them in. He looked over at the rope, cut off a hank with a wind spell, and then broke it down into individual strands and wove them around the stones. He tied two together around his neck, then attached one into a bracelet, and the final one he attached to the end of the rope and wound it around his torso.

It was a bit overkill to be wandering around like a living torch, but he needed the light to help him detect how far he was from the Nuller. He could leave some behind him to give him some light down the way. He gave one final look behind him at the camel, but there was nothing he could do for the creature. He couldn't move it or kill it with the limited tools he had on hand.

He staggered when he walked towards the opening in the wall. His steps were still unsteady, and his head woozy. He could tell that whatever venom the creature had given him was still in his system. Not to mention he still had a nasty head wound that his body's self-healing magic was fighting against.

But he knew that would only last as long as he was outside the Nuller's sphere of influence. He could only hope that he found his gear before finding something else because he didn't have anything to fight with other than his magic and fighting skills. With a Nuller in the dark, that was basically useless without a weapon, as he'd found out earlier. Even his dimensional ring was gone.

"Bloody Nuller!"

What, did it like shiny objects? Or did it take off anything that might interfere with it getting to its next meal? Granted, it couldn't get to him right now, but he was still in its lair. He stumbled into a wall and caught himself, holding one hand against the wall and one on his stomach, the spinning in his head ever-present.

What did he know about these creatures anyway? He searched through his groggy mind for anything that he could remember and pushed himself off of the wall, walking further into the cave system. He'd always read that they liked wet climates. In the books, when someone documented running into a Nuller, they were in a marsh.

Maybe that was why it seemed weak? What could drive a creature that liked damp and humid climates into a dry and arid environment? Davern's stomach dropped as a thought occurred to him. There was one thing that could cause a creature to become weaker than usual and change its habitat.

All kinds of creatures had spawning grounds that were different than their typical habitats. Davern hoped he was wrong, but they didn't know much about Nullers. Then he thought about the area's records and why he'd been sent out here: the missing caravans, the missing travelers. Just like now, it had happened hundreds of years ago.

Had he just stumbled onto something that he needed to report? Davern bit his lip and rubbed his right wrist; the beacon faintly glowed just under his skin. To hell with it, he put his hand down, he was going to save his brother, and who knows, he could be wrong, and damn it, he wasn't going to trigger that spell stark naked.

If there is a colossal Nuller outbreak that will decimate kingdoms, it's a disaster. No one has ever been able to pinpoint the source. The scholars that survived have just pieced it together through ancient records that large groups of people seem to go missing in the deserts proceeding the outbreaks. That's why we were sent here this time when people started disappearing to find out why. Besides, if it is breeding season, then there's time to save Evon and get back and warn the guild.

"At least I hope there's time," Davern said, moving faster down the passage. He soon came to the top of a staircase. He could see that the Nuller had been through here by the drag marks, and the faint imprint of his camel’s tracks could be seen in the disturbed dirt. So even she hadn’t escaped.

Davern heaved a sigh, well, he’d suspected as much, and given all the gear that the Nuller had taken from him. The other camel, plus his brother’s body; it wasn’t likely that it had hauled all that back to wherever it had gone all by itself.

Davern looked down the stairs and saw the glint of metal in a pile of bones, at least being lit up like a torch, was good for something. He thought wryly, hoping that whatever it was could be used as a weapon. Davern looked around while he descended carefully watching, and trying not to step on anything that could be a trap.

He saw some old tattered webbing, but didn’t think much of it since the Nuller had come through here not long before. He didn’t know many spiders that coexisted well with other beings, at least not without trying to eat them.

Davern scanned the landing with his eyes and the area around the corpse; something felt off. He just couldn’t pinpoint what. Davern unwrapped the rope from around his body and formed a lasso with it. He didn’t have any weapons, but he could at least entangle the creature with the rope long enough to cast a spell on it.

The hairs on the back of his neck prickled as his feet landed on the ground. He didn’t know where the creature was, but there was definitely something here with him, and it was something that he didn’t like; he glanced at the webbing again; maybe it wasn’t as old as he’d thought.

Evon, you damn bloody jinx; just had to say something and get us in this mess. He cursed in his mind, afraid that the monster would hear him and attack if he said it out loud. Davern tentatively reached his hand out towards the shiny metal object. Just as his hand clasped around the hilt of the small dagger, a cloud of dust and sand burst forth from the wall above the bones.

He reacted without even thinking. His hand tightened on the dagger, and he rolled back and to the side, away from the forward attack. Eight spindly legs shot straight forwards like knives hoping to impale their prey; obviously, that had failed, and now the creature was readjusting itself for a more dangerous encounter. Sand spiders spent their lives as ambush hunters and were dangerous, but not that dangerous outside of their burrows.

You just had to avoid being slashed by their knife-like legs and being bit. Since their venom was quite toxic. And he wasn’t entirely fighting at full strength, though his healing gift had almost taken care of his head wound in the time he’d been awake; the venom running through his system was still doing a number on his balance and vision. He’d like to avoid being bit at all cost; he couldn’t afford to have another type of venom in his body right now.

He tossed out the rope and snagged its front two legs, hoping that it would hold it long enough to cast a wind spell. He murmured the spell, gathering magic in the palm of his hand while holding onto the rope with his other hand and trying to throw the spider off-balance enough to show the gap in its pedicel.

Allowing him a clear kill shot. He didn’t have a lot of extra mana at the moment since most of it was being used to heal his wound, and he didn’t want to waste it accidentally; he yanked the spider forward. Holding the knife and the rope in one hand and with the other, he let the spell loose, hitting the pedicel splitting it in half; viscera splattered the stairs.

Davern let the rope go slack in his hands, and sinking to the floor on his butt, he put his head between his knees, closing his eyes, trying to deal with the wave of dizziness and catching his breath. “Evon, your ass had better be alive when I find you.” He staggered back to his feet and went back to the corpse where he’d found the dagger. He kicked the bones; he could tell by the shape and size that they were a goblin, great just great something else I get to look forward to down here. Hopefully, the Nuller ate them all, he looked at the spider, or something else did.

Then he saw a bit of fabric within the bones; he picked it up and looked down at his naked body, “Nah, nope, no way in hell. I’d rather be naked,” he tossed the goblin loincloth over his shoulder and continued on down the hall rewrapping his rope and tucked the dagger into a coil. He’d have to be even more careful now that he knew that the Nuller kept ambush predators around as pets.