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.

Bridge of Paradox

-We’re close, Gin! Track said exited. -We’re so close I can smell it!

-We still haven’t found the place where the others turned back, though. The hardest part is still to come.

The rocks around them got steeper and steeper, the landscape more and more hostile. Anyone who ever tried this journey before them either disappeared or came back empty handed telling tales of invincible monsters blocking the way.

They came to a bridge over a bottomless abyss. On the other side they could see the lost city, the place where the treasure was hidden.

-The bridge looks safe enough, Track said ironically looking at the massive construction under his feet.

Halfway over a shadow was seen at the end of the bridge. Something materialized, something big. Something monstrous. A giant came to be, a giant with a giant sword in his hand.

The two adventurers stopped. The air had been hard to breath before, but now Track felt dizzy.

The giant spoke:

“You’ve come this far in total vain

The journey you seek will end in pain.

The shadows in darkness, your greatest threat.

I am the Round Square, this bridge is your death.”… (more)

Size Matters

-Almost there, little friend!

-Great! Thanks for the ride, giant man. If I was to walk all this way I would never arrive.

Mandar had met the little green creature by the road. She was hitch-hiking, sitting on a tree stump.

“Hello, little thing,” he had asked. “Where are you going?”

Tindai had made some squeaking sounds.

“Hey hey hey! Not so fast, little one! I can’t figure out a word of what you’re saying.”

Tindai giggled. “Big things, always so slow.” Still fast, but understandable. “Anywhere which is not here would be fine. I’ve been waiting for ages!”

“I’m going to the lost city of Dentrar, he said. You can come with me if you want.”

She had accepted, and jumped up… (more)

A temple with statues. Aak fictionspawn

Dome of Doom

They came out in a big hall. The walls went far up into a cupola, meeting in the centre of the roof where a circular hole let the sunlight enter. A temple lost for tens of thousands of years.

-Amazing, Marduk exclaimed. -I’ve never seen anything like this..

-Extraordinary! John took a step out into the hall.

There were enormous stone statues by the walls. Marduk turned off his flashlight. The sunlight gave enough light to see, and he wanted to see it the way the people who once built it had seen it. The last remains of the first American settlement, arriving from the sea thousands of years before other humans came migrating down from the north. An African civilisation lost to history, just until now… (more)

Sand Swimmer

A hard days work had been done, and the search had already begun. Rachel was looking into the bound fire. The sound felt good, relaxing. Tomorrow they would continue their search for the lost city of the Kalahari, which according to Barry’s wasn’t in the Kalahari desert at all, but here in the south of the Namib.

They were talking about things far away, things back home, and Ng’guya, the guide, was telling them about the area.

Johnny suddenly cut him off.

-Look!

Something moved in the sand dune in front of them. Rachel looked up.

-What was that?

Ng’guya looked worried, but said nothing. It was gone.

The next day they were looking at the sonar, searching below the sand for anything man made.

Something moved down there, deep under the sand.

-What the… It looks like something is swimming..? Barry started checking the computer.

Ng’guya looked over their shoulder. He looked at the dunes, at the ground.

-Aigamuxa, he said. -We shouldn’t be here… (more)