Trolls and Sorcery

I’ve created four more NFTs over at paras.id, and written two fresh new stories.

One is based on three troll illustrations created for this blog earlier, adapted to the Paras format and retouched quite a bit before being minted. The story is based on the three earlier stories, taking and adding quite a bit, making it a totally new fictionspawn folklore tale.

The second story is based on a new illustration (the featured one), and is called Unfolded Sorcery. It’s a story about the volatility of life.

The illustrations, links to the stories and more information can be found in the post.

Green Mist

-Ah, finally some fresh air! Feels good, doesn’t it?

George and Fabian had driven out into the Rocky Desert to get away from it all for the day. People rarely went out here. They were all alone, and it felt good.

-What’s that? George pointed towards a facility further ahead.

-It looks like some kind of factory…

The gate was closed, but there was a pile of barrels and wooden boxes stacked up the wall a bit to the left. They climbed up to have a look.

-They seem to have left in a hurry.

There were things thrown around, rubbish, tools. Some big silos at the far end. A greenish smoke emerged from one of them.

-Let’s go have a look! George jumped down from the wall on the other side.

-Damn! That stinks! Fabian held his nose, peering towards the silos. A red lamp was flashing on a panel. George pushed some buttons.

-I don’t know if that’s a good idea…

Something opened in the biggest silo. Green smoke came pouring out. George backed away, contemplating his work.

Fabian started coughing.

-Let’s get out of here!

They ran towards the car. The mist got denser.

-I can’t breath! George’s coughs were threatening to choke him.

-We need to get higher up! Run!

Behind them the smoke crept up the hillside like an animal.

-Damn! Look!

There was something rising in the middle of the sea of green smoke, just where the factory were. A head. A face emerged… (click image for more)

Carried Away

The shop had all kinds of things. Toys, tools, jugs and mugs. Masks from far away, colourful clothes, gadgets of all sorts.

There, behind a basket full of cones and torches, something caught Ild’s attention. Two strange sticks with a little ball on the end of each one. The little balls emitted a green light.

The shop keeper looked at him with interest him as he walked closer.

-I see they have chosen you,

He had only one eye and a big scar across his face. He lacked several teeth as well, probably for other reasons. He grinned, but it was no friendly grin.

-Excuse me?

-They’ve found you.

-Wouldn’t that be rather I’ve found them?

-Whatever you say, the shop keeper said. -They’re yours, no charge.

He didn’t look like the kind of man who would give away things for free.

-What are they for? Ild sent him a sceptical glare.

-They summon things, finds things. Leads the way.

There was a long silence. Ild was about to speak to break the tension, when the man continued in a sudden, fierce tone.

-Take them! Get out of here!

Ild grabbed the sticks, looking confused at the man behind the desk. This was all very strange, but he was intrigued by the two sticks, the strange words, even the way the shop keeper acted.

-Er… Thank you.

The shop keeper laughed when he walked out of the alley. He could hear his laughter stronger and stronger as he walked down the road, as if it was following him.

He got home, looking at his new, glowing sticks. He liked them a lot. He waved them around a bit in the semi darkness, making lines and circles.

A greenish cloud appeared, shining, like northern lights, like stars. There was a face, first diffuse, unclear. Then solid, still floating.

-Come with me.

-W…Where to?

-To the lost city of balloons and wonders.To the city of Tor’ar.

They walked. They walked for a long time, up in the mountains, between high walls. They walked on paths no one had walked in a long time, paths long forgotten.

Balloons could be seen in the skies. A valley appeared, deep like an abyss, rocky, infertile.

-Here we are.

The other side was far away, the abyss was deep and wide. Ild sat down to rest. The hologram kept staring at the other side, waiting. Ild fell asleep.

He woke up by the sound of metal hitting rock. An anchor had touched the ground in front of him.

-Hop on! We don’t have all day!

A balloon was waiting for them. The driver had a vest on, and short pants. His one eye was sparkling a glow Ild knew from before. A scar across his face.

Stranger at Home

-They are coming! Squeak! Coming! The bird looked towards the castle far away on the other side of the fields.

-They are coming, they are coming! The other birds echoed through the woods. A war was about to begin.

The squirrel ran through the woods, wanting to get a good spot.

The soldiers marched. They were many, and heavily armed. The trees shivered as they passed by.

On the other side of the forest there was another land, vast, beautiful and fertile. A king ruled, better than most. According to the plan, he was not to rule much longer.

-Some battle, wasn’t it? The squirrel jumped back and forth between the branches. Blood was flowing, people were screaming. It was over.

-Some battle! Some battle! The bird flew off, over the battle field.

Perkel was lying under a pile of bodies. Some friends, other foes, all dead or dying. He was unhurt, but he didn’t move. Mercy would not be granted for anyone who was caught, and the army he had fought for was destroyed. The attack had been demolished.

Men started carrying the bodies away, putting them in piles further down. Perkel crawled down a ditch, reached the river. He let himself in, drifted away from the horrors he had been a part of.

A bird circled above him, watching him with interest. Further down he reached the forest. He pulled himself up, crawled in between the bushes. Lay on the ground, rested. Tried to get his mind back in place. It felt splintered, destroyed. Images of violence rushed through his inner eye, fear tormented his soul.

-Hi!

Perkel jumped around.  There was no one there. He grabbed a rock from the ground.

-Up here, silly! Squeak!

He looked up in the trees. The bird was looking down at him. A squirrel was watching from another tree.

-You escaped, didn’t you? The battle! You deserted! Deserted!

-I did. Perkel looked down, moving the grass with his foot. -I didn’t want to die.

-Well, you didn’t, did you? The squirrel jumped down a few branches, to get a better look. It seemed uprightly happy for him. -Now what you going to do?

-I have no idea… I can’t go home, that’s for sure. I’d be killed for deserting. And I can’t go back to the land we were attacking, My kind won’t be welcome there now.

The squirrel looked at him with its head on the chess. -There’s not many choices left, then, is there?.

-No choices! No choices! Squeak!

Perkel looked around. The forest was dense and wild, and he had no idea how to survive there. -How would I even find food? he said out loud, expecting no answer.

-There are nuts everywhere at this time of year, wouldn’t you know? The squirrel jumped up to a higher branch, threw him a cluster of acorns. -You’ll be fine, don’t you think?

-And bugs! Bugs all over! We’ll teach you! Squeak!

Perkel lived in the forest for years. When winter came closer, food was getting scarce, and he missed home, his family. His wife and child. He didn’t know how they were, let alone the worry he felt for them believing he was dead. Still, he stayed. There would be no pardon from the king if he returned.

His beard grew long and wild, so did his hair. The third year he made a decision.

-I’m going back home, he told the squirrel. -I need to see my family.

-You’ll have luck, don’t you think? I sure hope they will treat you right…

-I sure hope so. Thank you, my friend, for everything.

He walked through the forest, the way he had come long ago. He walked through the fields, hoping no one would see him. He reached his little farm in the country side.

There was no one there… (more)

Romance

-Come on!

-Where are we going?

-You’ll soon find out.

-Woooowww…. It’s amazing.

-I told you! He smiled a big smile.

They could see everything from up here. A thin sickle of a moon lit up as if it was full, gave the landscape a magical shine

-Oh, Tim… It’s just so…

He took her in his arms, turned her around. His gaze sunk into her eyes, deeper then any man had ever seen.

-Only the best… He kissed her. Around them the bats flew on their hunt for bugs, the crickets sang their song.

-What’s that…?

She turned around, adjusted her eyes to the dark distance.

He moved her hair a bit to one side, exposed her neck. Opened his mouth wide.

She took a step down the path. -Look! There’s cabin down there! Let’s go!

She grabbed his hand, ran down the slope.

The cabin could hardly be seen in the dense vegetation. It was old and worn, almost falling down.

-What are you…?

-Come on! It will be fun!

She broke a window, went in.

-I’m not really sure about this… He had lived long enough to know what kind of things that could lurk in these kinds of places. -I’m not sure if….

She was already inside. His veins was screaming of hunger. He followed.

The place smelled of rot and horrors. It was dark, even his eyes had a hard time seeing anything.

-Here I am, she said with a soft voice. He turned around. She lit a candle. Her naked body looked fantastic in the flickering light. He even considered turning her for a moment, but he wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. She held her hands out. Finally it was time to eat.

-Aaaaaahhh!! Melanie’s scream made the walls shiver. A dead man was lying on the bed… (more)

Thicker Than Blood

This was where they had met, a cold winter night. It had been lying there with the others, another log in the stack. He had gotten it out, put it up on the chopping block. Grabbed his axe, lifted it high. The log spoke.

“What are you doing!?”

Gerald jumped back. Held his hand to the wall, catching his breath. The other hand tightened around the shaft. Was he going crazy?  Either that, or something fishy was going on.

“You… speak?” Gerald couldn’t believe what he saw and heard. “Logs don’t…”

“Yeah, I know. We don’t. But still, here we are talking, aren’t we?”

Gerald couldn’t argue with that.

They chatted for a while. The log told Gerald about his former life as a tree, and how he had ended up where he was. He asked a lot of questions, and seemed genuinely interested in Gerald’s life, his childhood, his marriage. Gerald told his story, and it felt good to finally have someone to really talk to again.

He took it in, cared for it. They became good friends, they were happy together. The log was a great pal, they had many laughs, so much fun.

His wife didn’t understand. She never saw the log speak, somehow it just kept quiet when she was around. She hated it.  She hated how her husband spent long afternoons in the sitting room talking to the stupid log. She hated the log.

The log was worried.

“She doesn’t like me, does she?” it would ask, looking out of the window. “I don’t see why? I never done anything to her.”

Gerald would try to make him feel better. “Maybe that’s the problem,” he would say. “She doesn’t even think you’re alive. Why don’t you speak to her?”

The log went silent.

Gerald spent more and more time with the log. Who would ever have guessed a log would have so much humour, be so smart? He knew things Gerald had never imagined.

He took the log on long walks. They went fishing together. It was driving his wife crazy.

One day she gave him an ultimatum.

“It’s either the log or me! Get rid of it! Chop it up and burn it, or I will!”

So here they were. He put the log on the chopping block, facing away. He couldn’t look it in the eyes.

“What are you doing, man? Why are we here?”

“I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry…” Gerald couldn’t hold the tears back.

“It’s her, isn’t it? She told you to do this! Can’t you see? She’s manipulating you!”

Gerald grabbed his axe with a shaking hand… (more)