Sunday, April 08, 2007

Indiebloggers Writing Challenge #006

I'm starting to really enjoy doing these weekly challenges. And I'm not afraid to admit that I am so anal, I made sure my entry was exactly 250 words. My entry is listed below, but if you would like to read more, do go to the Indiebloggers Weekly Challenge page (previous link).

The story I've started reminds me of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, and I'm intrigued to see where it could go. I may write another chapter to the story, and I'll post it in this blog if it turns out well.

250 words regarding:
In your job as a tree trimmer, you’ve encountered oddities before. But nothing like this morning when you split a dying elm over on Regality Drive and found a solid stone axe embedded in its heart. It’s covered in sharply engraved Nordic runes. Translated, the runic carvings read: whosoever wields this blade shall conquer time.

I frowned at the axe and put my chainsaw down.

My grinder was close to hand, and I used it to carefully remove the wood from around the contours of the stone weapon. Then I wrapped a hand in the corner of my shirt and gingerly pulled the axe out. It came willingly, in one smooth motion, and the chill of it stung me through the thick flannel.

In my van there lives a chest of rowan wood, circled with iron. I made it, from necessity. The axe went in there, next to a jade scepter and a metal crown bejewelled with flint.

Sweat trickled down my back, and my underarms were damp with perspiration, despite the cool autumn weather.

Some people are comfort-eaters, I’m a fear-sweater.

I had to make a phone call.

“Arnbj√∂rg Antiques!”
“Morning, Arnie.”
“Good morning to you, Brynhild! How is it with you? I haven’t seen you since-”
“Yeah, I know,” I interrupted him, remembering the last time we met, the flames and screams.
And blood, so much blood.
“Arnie, I’ve found some more . . . things.”

I squinted down at the contents of the chest. Yes, I can read Nordic runes. Just one of my skills, part of a heritage you don’t want to know about.

“Whosoever lifts this scepter shall conquer hearts.”
“Whosoever wears this crown shall conquer minds.”

And now, the axe.

Axe, scepter and crown were too small for mortal man or woman. But they would fit something else.