Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Challenge Accepted: Big Bear Butt's Blogging Bonanza Blowout B....B.... Thing.

     On March 16th, Big Bear Butt threw down the gauntlet.  He issued a challenge, quoted as such:
Write a short story. I don’t care how short, or what kind of story, or even what form your story takes. BUT… your story, poem, dirty limerick or whatever you choose to do must incorporate within it in some way the following words;
  1. juicy
  2. slender
  3. vain
  4. shaft
  5. torch
  6. star
  7. hidden
If you accept this challenge, then write whatever you’d like incorporating those words into your tale, but do not publish right away!

  
  To that, I say, "Let the games begin!"

The Meeting of Doh and Amitiella

     The apple lay on a simple linen placemat on the table.  The mess hall in the barracks was silent as the other students watched.  Doran was hungry.  He hadn't eaten for three days.  It was all part of his training as a warrior, they told him.  He stared at it, knowing full well that if he made any attempt to take it, three of his fellow students were required to step in and stop him.  To beat him into submission before allowing him to get one juicy bite of the apple.
     Doran, or "Doh" as he was called in the barracks, knew this was the only food that he had any chance of reaching.  He also knew that the pain of hunger was far more difficult to bear than another beating by the older students.  He tried to remember what his masters had taught him about controlling his rage.  He tried to maintain a steady head.  He tried and he tried until he could bear the torment of the gleaming apple no longer.
     He had two options at the moment.  Complete the test or withdraw from warrior training altogether.  He would never be able to bear the silent shame of his tribe if he quit.  A tauren, after all, keeps his word without fail.  So he looked at the older students standing near the table. 
     One, named Thorn, held a heavy mallet in both hands, standing on thick legs ready to spring into battle.
     Another, named Ammon, held two slender blades, twirling them in his hands. 
     The third, who had earned the nickname "Ironwall", held a heavy wooden shield and a thick one-handed axe.
     Doh knew what he had to do.  He summoned up the rage within him, filling himself with fury at his teachers for denying him, like so many before him, something as simple as food to eat.  His eyes burned in his sockets, glowing red as tendrils of steam began to rise from his snout, fogging up his traditional nose ring.
     With a pounding of hooves on stone, he launched himself directly at the shield-bearer.  So quick and forceful was he that his rival student could barely raise the bulwark in time.  With a roar the other students had never heard before, Doh tore the shield away and swung it around. 
     A cracking sound told him that he'd hit someone.  He didn't care to check who, instead focusing on picking up Ironwall and throwing him across the room.  Other students dodged out of the way as Ironwall hit the ground and slid to rest against the wall. Spinning around, Doh saw Ammon charging at him, both blades glinting in the light of a single burning torch.  Without thinking, Doh grabbed the oncoming blades with his bare hands.  He felt the metal slicing into his skin and glanced at his hands.  The sight of his blood running down the blade seemed to be amusing Ammon, who began laughing loudly.  Doh, long since tired of being laughed at, pushed with all his strength, turning the blades towards Ammon's throat.
     Ammon realized what was happening and began kicking and struggling in vain against Doh's steadily approaching hands.
     Suddenly, rough hands, significantly larger than either of the two students', pulled them apart.  "Enough!" came a powerful baritone voice.  The fogginess began to fade from Doh's eyes as his rage lifted.  The battle was over. The hand released him, and he staggered over to the table where the apple still lay, undisturbed and gleaming.  Without a word, he picked up the apple and took a bite.
*****
     Several months passed with Doh continuing his training.  He found his fellow students to be much more respectful, though the nickname he'd earned never did seem to go away.  He grew stronger and quicker, able to master many of the techniques his elders showed him with relative ease.  Finally, there came a day he thought would never come.  Graduation.  A day when a warrior was declared fit to enter the real world and seek out honor, glory, or justice.  And on that day, Doh got to choose his weapons.
     He had seen many different types used, but none seemed to call to him like the simple combination of sword and shield.  So, with his new blade and heavy iron defender, he set out through Mulgore, seeking out adventure.  He travelled swiftly, working his way across the Barrens to reach Orgrimmar, the city of the Orcs.  When he arrived, he saw a notice board with the symbol of the Horde in the middle of town.  Moving closer, he began to read the notices aloud.  Being somewhat slower than most, it took him some time.  A few goblins nearby snickered at him as he read, but were silenced by a look from a nearby Blood Elf with golden blond hair.
     Finally, Doh settled on Desolace.  A place nearly devoid of nature, infested with demons and centaurs alike.  There was a place where a warrior could test his mettle and do some real good!
     Doh set off on foot, steadily marching west, until at last he spied the grey, dismal landscape of Desolace.  He began wandering around, searching for demons to slay or centaurs to drive away, but mostly found emptiness.  When night fell, and the first star twinkled in the sky, Doh settled himself against a cliff face to get some sleep before resuming his trek the next day.  The moment he started to doze, he heard a sudden scream in the distance.  It didn't sound like a demon scream or even a centaur scream, though Doh had no actual experience with either.  It sounded more frightened than anything.  Doh leapt up and ran in the direction of the scream.  Moments later, he came upon a scene of violence.  A centaur was looming over a small, pale figure with golden hair, aiming an arrow from a crudely made bow directly at her heart.
     With a roar of fury, eyes turning red, Doh charged.  The thundering sounds made the centaur look up and turn his bow towards Doh.  The arrow flew through the air, piercing Doh's shoulder, but his own momentum brought him into range of the centaur.  With the cry of a warrior, he slammed into the centaur, knocking him to the ground and pinning him with his shield.  Lifting his sword, he looked for a moment at the centaur's leering face.  He glanced at the girl, who he now recognized as the blood elf from Orgrimmar.  Looking back at the centaur, he plunged the blade downward, severing his head.
     "You okay?" he asked the elf.
     "I'm... fine.  What about you?" she replied.
     "I'm okay.  Why are you out here?"
     "You're not fine, you have an arrow in your shoulder.  Come here."  Doh obeyed, not really understanding why.  He knelt down before the elf as she reached for the shaft of the arrow. 
     "This might hurt a bit." she said softly. 
     "It's okay.  I'm a warrior.  We're not supposed to feel pain." he said.  She tugged quickly on the arrow, pulling it out and releasing a small splatter of blood.  Doh grunted and winced.  The elf smiled at him.
     "I thought you weren't supposed to feel pain." she said with a smirk.
     "Sometimes, stuff still hurts."
     "I know what you mean.  Hold still."  She began waving her hands around in the air, and for a moment, Doh thought she might be crazy.  Then, little pearls of light began to coalesce in her palms, collecting and growing in both size and brightness.  Gently, she placed the collected light on the wound.  Doh's eyes widened in amazement as he watched his skin stitch itself back together, as good as it ever was.
     "Are you a shaman?" he asked the elf.  She chuckled quietly to herself.
     "No, tauren, I'm a priest."
     "My name's Doran, but everyone calls me Doh." He offered a rough hand to the elf.  She looked at him for a moment, considering him, then placed her small hand in his. "Amitiella"
     "Do you have a shorter name?  That's a bit long for me to remember."  Now Amitiella laughed in earnest.  "Just call me Ami. Why do they call you Doh?"
     Doh looked at the ground sheepishly.  "Everyone thinks I'm not very smart.  I can't read very good.  But I'm good with other stuff."
     "Like what?"
     "Like using my sword and shield.  I'm pretty good at lifting stuff, too."
     "Seems to me like those are more useful skills than reading out here.  I'm glad you were here and not someone writing poetry."
     "Why are you out here, anyways?"
     "I wanted to find a place hidden and safe.  I guess this place offers neither."
     "Why?"
     "Why what, Doran?"
     "Why did you want to find a place to keep you hidden and safe?  How about a friend?"
     "I don't really have any friends."
     "I'll be your friend.  I can protect you from bad stuff, and you can do priest stuff if I get hurt.  What do you think?"  Amitiella remained silent for a moment.  "Doran, I think that's a great idea."
     "Okay.  Where do we go now?"
     "Well, I hear there are some demons in the area.  I bet your sword's never tried demon blood!"
     Doh and Amitiella set off into the night, both fully energized by their friendship, both itching to get into a good battle.
     When morning came, it shone brighter in Desolace than it had in a long while, and the first rays of light fell squarely on a scene of carnage.  Some demonic bodies had been hewn in two, others had been burned from within.  And from the field walked a tauren and an elf.

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