(I’m trying something new today. What follows is part of the remains of my attempt to write a fantasy novel. You can see why it remains unpublished outside of this blog, my mind, graffiti in bathroom stalls, and portions of it printed on bricks that I heave at motorists in purple vehicles.)
The village priest met Barrog’s eyes with a level gaze. The tension in the air was palpable. It hung heavy in the air, thick, with the sort of consistency normally unheard of outside of industrial strength glue or cafeterias. Neither man spoke. The tension continued to rise, piling on and on and on. The silence grew, and with it the tension.
Great, heaping, gobs of tension, mounds of it just pouring onto the scene, until both main characters were crushed under the sheer weight of it.
(Take 2. This time, lighten the mood a little.)
The village priest met Barrog’s eyes with a smile. “Ha ha!” he said. “Gee, Barrog, it is sure nice to see you, despite the fact that in the course of this story you may be injured or possibly die a horrible death! Not that I mean this in a way that should create tension of any sort! Ha ha!”
(Okay, add a little tension. This just sounds ridiculous.)
The village priest met Barrog’s eyes with an expression that neither created nor removed tension from the scene. He eyed the massive sword on Barrog’s back, a huge, solid mass of metal, ideal for the task ahead. “I hope you know how to use that thing. I need you to lead the raiding party here,” he said, indicating the map on the table between them.
Barrog stood up to get a better look at the map, and was immediately crushed under the weight of his sword.
(Goddamn it. Why does the hero always have to have a ridiculously large weapon? Give him something else.)
The village priest met Barrog’s eyes, and eyed the pair of pruning shears slung across his back. “I need you to lead the raiding party here,” he said, indicating the map on the table between them. Barrog nodded.
“I just hope you know the responsibility placed upon you, Barrog, son of Strongarm the Inaptly Named, who’s coming was prophesized by the Great Oracle, tragically killed in his efforts to breed a flying horse; may his remains lie forever in peace at the bottom of that cliff.”
Barrog nodded, but did not speak, as he was not supposed to do so until the fourth paragraph. He tried his best to look heroic.
“I understand what I must do,” he said.
“No you don’t, I haven’t told you yet,” the priest replied, exasperated.
“Oh,” Barrog said, trying to get a grip on the whole “protagonist” thing.
(Alright, nobody’s dead yet. Keep going…)
“Do not think that this will be an easy task. You should expect many dangers in your travels- perhaps even the Nelock,” the priest continued.
“Nelock?” Barrog asked, confused yet again.
“Aye, the Nelock. They are a blight upon this land, the very embodiment of evil. They are in open warfare with life itself, and commit atrocities for no other purpose than to wash in the blood of their foes!” the priest said, drool beginning to form at the corners of his mouth.
“So, Orcs?” Barrog asked.
“Fine, yes, Orcs. Just kill them indiscriminately, okay? We need some fight scenes in this thing, and we can’t have you getting bogged down with that pesky 'morality' thing”, the priest said.
This was all still a bit confusing to Barrog. He glanced back down at the map, and frowned.
“This is a connect-the-dots!” he said.