Over the edge

5 May 2013:

A short story that depicts how an injured rogue goes up against a (somewhat) mighty mage and lives to fight another day. ENJOY! Picture creds go to Goh Wei Choon!

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If his ribs weren’t broken earlier, they definitely were now. His lungs were burning as he willed them to pump precious air into his battered body. His ears were ringing and every single part of his body ache. Just what kind of spell did that blasted inquisitor cast? After what seemed like an eternity, he rolled off his back and unto his knees. He looked checked his surroundings wearily. The ridgetop clearing was deathly still. Through a gap in the treeline, he could clearly see the sun breaking the darkness in the distance, shafts of light diffusing into the early morning sky.

No sign of the purple and red clad inquisitor.

Maybe he managed to kill the bastard. Maybe the combination of dagger strikes and kicks managed to break the spellcasters concentration.

Maybe his spell backfired and threw him into a portal to oblivion. Alerio cracked a smile at that thought.

It was one of those smiles that didn’t last long, as he heard movement in the nearby bushes. The inquisitor shambled forward, leaning heavily on his staff. He blocked the sunlight, casting a long shadow over Alerio’s kneeling form. His cloth garments were tattered and smoking from the spell that went awry . He clutched his side – coloured a deep red where one of Alerio’s cheap shots had gotten through.

Why couldn’t he just die?

He scrambled onto his feet, clutching his bloodied stiletto in his left hand. His favoured dagger was lost somewhere in the tall grass. No matter. He pulled out his small karambit knife.

The inquisitor cleared his throat and spoke; his voice still strong despite his appearance. “You have five seconds to drop your weapons and surrender rogue.” Alerio was about to give a retort, but merely sighed and gave the inquisitor a look that said volumes more than any ome liner ever could. If Alerio’s look had to be translated into spoken language, it could be done so by two words; “stupid wanker”

“Five!”

Alerio glared at the inquisitor, who now firmly grasped his crystal staff with one hand, the other making tracing arcane symbols which burned to life in midair.

Ah fuck it.

“Four!”

He burst forward, determined to close the distance between between him and the spellcaster. An orb of teal-coloured arcane power coalesced into existence within the palm of the inquisitor as well as the tip of his staff.

So much for time to surrender.

Teal coloured lances of arcane energy shot forth from the spellcaster’s  hands, racing towards Alerio with stunning speed. The black-clad, bloodied rogue danced and sidestepped each beam of raw, burning energy.  He dodged low, he skipped left, danced right – and ended up well within range to slice and dice.

The first blow slammed the crystal staff away from Alerio, leaving the spellcaster wide open.

A slice at the arm tendon holding the orb. A stab into the kidney.

A finishing slash aimed at the the throat to end the fight – a slash that did not connect, as a sudden, point blank explosion of arcane energy threw Alerio into the ground and sent the inquisitor reeling back.

That was the spell the crazy pendeho used earlier. Except this time Alerio was neither dazed nor winded. He was aware of the pain and the smell of burnt leather. He was aware that he hadn’t dropped his knives.

And he was aware the spellcaster was a few feet away from the ridgeline.

With a roar of fury, Alerio charged at his panting opponent and throttled him off the cliff and into air.

***

The  ground was the sky and the sky was the ground. But that all didn’t matter – as Alerio was hell-bent to ensure the inquisitor died before he died. The wind tore at his face and the inquisitor, despite his injuries was still strong enough to struggle and prevent Alerio’s blades from biting his flesh.
Fine.
In one swift motion, Alerio slammed his forehead into his opponent’s nose was greeted with a satisfying crack as the small bones broke. He shrimped – bringing both his knees close to his chest and kicked with all his might. The inquisitor rocketed away from him.  The ground was racing to meet him.
Alerio twisted in mind air, his  body inches away from the cliff face. He sheathed his karambit knife and grabbed the dagger with both hands.
This is stupid.
This is gonna hurt.
But the alternate would be worse.

He slammed the knife into the soil. The impact jarred his body and rocked his brain. The dagger drew a long, deep furrow in the cliff face. Dirt flew into his eyes. The competition between friction and gravity threatened to wrest the blade away, but Alerio hung on with all his might. After a while, a long while that seemed like eternity, Alerio’s momentum slowed enough for him to dare and grab the wall with his hand.

And he hung there, a black figure against the red-coloured mixture of soil rock and stone. He turned around and gazed behind him. The body of the spellcaster was nowhere in sight, as the treeline met the bottom of the cliff. Behind him the sun was still shining.

He was still alive.

Now all he had to do was climb down the damn cliff.

If his ribs weren’t broken earlier, they definitely were now. His lungs were burning as he willed them to pump precious air into his battered body. His ears were ringing and every single part of his body ache. Just what kind of spell did that blasted inquisitor cast? After what seemed like an eternity, he rolled off his back and unto his knees. He looked checked his surroundings wearily. The ridge top clearing was deathly still. Through a gap in the treeline, he could clearly see the sun breaking the darkness in the distance, shafts of light diffusing into the early morning sky.

No sign of the purple and red clad inquisitor.

Maybe he managed to kill the bastard. Maybe the combination of dagger strikes and kicks managed to break the spellcasters concentration.

Maybe his spell backfired and threw him into a portal to oblivion. Alerio cracked a smile at that thought.

It was one of those smiles that didn’t last long, as he heard movement in the nearby bushes. The inquisitor shambled forward, leaning heavily on his staff. He blocked the sunlight, casting a long shadow over Alerio’s kneeling form. His cloth garments were tattered and smoking from the spell that went awry . He clutched his side – coloured a deep red where one of Alerio’s cheap shots had gotten through.

Why couldn’t he just die?

 He scrambled onto his feet, clutching his bloodied stiletto in his left hand. His favoured dagger was lost somewhere in the tall grass. No matter. He pulled out his small karambit knife.

The inquisitor cleared his throat and spoke; his voice still strong despite his appearance. “You have five seconds to drop your weapons and surrender rogue.” Alerio was about to give a retort, but merely sighed and gave the inquisitor a look that said volumes more than any ome liner ever could. If Alerio’s look had to be translated into spoken language, it could be done so by two words; “stupid wanker”

“Five!”

Alerio glared at the inquisitor, who now firmly grasped his crystal staff with one hand, the other making tracing arcane symbols which burned to life in midair.

Ah fuck it.

“Four!”

He burst forward, determined to close the distance between between him and the spellcaster. An orb of teal-coloured arcane power coalesced into existence within the palm of the inquisitor as well as the tip of his staff.

So much for time to surrender.

Teal coloured lances of arcane energy shot forth from the spellcaster’s  hands, racing towards Alerio with stunning speed. The black-clad, bloodied rogue danced and sidestepped each beam of raw, burning energy.  He dodged low, he skipped left, danced right – and ended up well within range to slice and dice.

The first blow slammed the crystal staff away from Alerio, leaving the spellcaster wide open.

A slice at the arm tendon holding the orb. A stab into the kidney.

A finishing slash aimed at the the throat to end the fight – a slash that did not connect, as a sudden, point blank explosion of arcane energy threw Alerio into the ground and sent the inquisitor reeling back.

That was the spell the crazy pendeho used earlier. Except this time Alerio was neither dazed nor winded. He was aware of the pain and the smell of burnt leather. He was aware that he hadn’t dropped his knives.

And he was aware the spellcaster was a few feet away from the ridgeline.

With a roar of fury, Alerio charged at his panting opponent and throttled him off the cliff and into air.

***

The  ground was the sky and the sky was the ground. But that all didn’t matter – as Alerio was hell-bent to ensure the inquisitor died before he died. The wind tore at his face and the inquisitor, despite his injuries was still strong enough to struggle and prevent Alerio’s blades from biting his flesh.
Fine.
In one swift motion, Alerio slammed his forehead into his opponent’s nose was greeted with a satisfying crack as the small bones broke. He shrimped – bringing both his knees close to his chest and kicked with all his might. The inquisitor rocketed away from him.  The ground was racing to meet him.

Alerio twisted in mind air, his  body inches away from the cliff face. He sheathed his karambit knife and grabbed the dagger with both hands.
This is stupid.
This is gonna hurt.
But the alternate would be worse.

 He slammed the knife into the soil. The impact jarred his body and rocked his brain. The dagger drew a long, deep furrow in the cliff face. Dirt flew into his eyes. The competition between friction and gravity threatened to wrest the blade away, but Alerio hung on with all his might. After a while, a long while that seemed like eternity, Alerio’s momentum slowed enough for him to dare and grab the wall with his hand.

And he hung there, a black figure against the red-coloured mixture of soil rock and stone. He turned around and gazed behind him. The body of the spellcaster was nowhere in sight, as the treeline met the bottom of the cliff. Behind him the sun was still shining.

He was still alive.

Now all he had to do was climb down the damn cliff.

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10 comments

  1. Tim

    Harlow. NTU english graduate here. Perpetual ennui from day of graduation without any occupation led me to this. Okay here goes.

    Cool story. Kind of like a whirlpool storyline concept where it repeats to no end. Reminded me of this Tales from the Crypt episode called ‘Whirlpool’. It is available on youtube should you wish to watch it.

    I have a few complains though. I am a bit of a grammar nazi, so when I read sentences like;

    – Alerio twisted in mind air-
    – Alerio slammed his forehead into his opponent’s nose was greeted with a satisfying crack as the small bones broke –
    – throttled him off the cliff and into air.-

    just disrupts the flow of my reading….and so does your other reviews.

    I think, if you have a stellar piece of writing to share, your grammar and spelling typos should be checked multiple times before you post. It does bring your piece of creation down a notch.

    Some minor criticisms on the piece…while the use of language is colorful, the development of the plot is a little weak.

    You can do so much better.

    • Hi Tim!

      Thanks for the feedback. I sincerely apologise for the bad grammar. Alas…I think I shall not amend the text. I shall keep it as a painful, constant and mighty embarrassing reminder.

      Regarding the development of this piece – I got the idea while playing WoW. I’ll elaborate it more soon, but it was meant to be a purely action-orientated short-story (which in terms of layout came out to be rather long and abit of a turnoff in my opinion).

      Regardless, I sincerely thank you for your feedback, and will work on it. =)

      PS I hope, at the very least, the piece entertained you.

  2. Tim

    Wow? They say gamers are big dreamers. Okay, to be fair, some just merely dream.

    And why is your blog so free from comments???

    In that case, while I wait for the second installment, allow me to dirty your blog with comments.

    Forget facebook, forget youtube, trolling blogs is in.

    *evil grin*

  3. Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out.

    I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will
    be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and excellent style and
    design.

    • Hi there!

      Thanks for the bookmark and spreading the word. I’ll try to update more regularly yea? I sincerely hope you enjoy whatever is up here. =)

  4. Tim

    Aha! Modus operandi of a typical scam.

    I can totally relate to this. Not relations guide per se. To put it mildly, I was surfing sites that well, warrants parental guidance and possibly government intervention. And then I get all these funny emails in my inbox.

    Anyways! I have a little request. Writing action stories seems to be your niche. Or I suspect, largely inspired by RPG games where therein apparent your obsession lies. How about surprising your readers with stories peppered with notions of romanticism yet laced with depressive air all around the piece? Or something light hearted..or tragic. Kind of shows your versatility as a writer.

    Well, when ure not so busy of course….ill be looking forward!

    • Yellooww Tim!

      I am still drafting up a short story. Maybe abit hard to call it a short story seeing it is now at 800 words….

      It’s not gonna be on love but it’s something different (I hope it reads differently and readers get a different mix of emotions).

      It’ll revolve around the (somewhat good) rogue Alerio and a recent…..misadventure. Hopefully I’ll have more time to write : s

      • Tim

        Oh no… blood and gore again? well..hopefully with less fighting scenes. Too much fighting around these days. With cineleisure incident and everything. Luckily the guy survived, otherwise we’ll have another More Police Wont Matter article by Oliver M. Haha. Eh Ive read a backdated forum regarding that piece and the replies are pretty horrific. Seems quite scary to be a forum writer.

        Okay so ill wait and see what is Alerio’s misadventure going to be.

      • The story is…..er…..AKAN DATANG! (will come)

        Oh yea! the feedback. It was quite scary and disheartening lah. But….one journalist I had the good fortune to talk to taught me it is necessary to stick to your guns (ie what you wrote).

        Alot of people, in my opinion, depend on the government for too much. Partly because the government is paid alot, mainly because we’ve been raised since young to always be dependent (bully at school – tell teacher. hungry – tell maid, mum, don’t know how to do assignment, ask teacher, tutor). Thing is, depending on others, especially the authorities is…well…they always take their time. And sometimes, don’t even act in the end ( I remember being bullied in primary school and the teacher said they were just playing. -_-“)

        To bring the whole thing full circle, if you were the guy being slashed, wouldn’t you want someone to step forward and at least help you? It’s not about being a hero and going ip man on the bullies/slashers/aggressors.

        It’s about helping your fellow man. Remember the stabbing incident in UK a few weeks back? where the aggressors stabbed the soldier to death and in the end it was a woman who went forth to comfort the soldier in his final moments? That’s all that’s required. Something so simple, yet at the same time, incredibly hard.

  5. Tim

    Haha. I do understand Malay you know. Saya akan menanti hasil tulisan cerpen anda mengenai….manusia yang luar biasa?

    It is a repetitive cycle….this whole being dependent thing that we create for ourselves, that we failed to realize that we can do certain things on our own…and that we are able to.

    I do understand your point in the article. Surely something can be done than just standing and staring and wait around til the police comes. From one perspective, you’re not a witness but a mere silent watcher. And you’re right, sheep mentality is just so strong amidst the locals. Like, hey nobody did anything so let’s just follow suit. *shrugs*

    You know I fell from the bus once, missed the steps and landed my face on the ground while my legs were still on the steps. There were people around, but they just stared and watched.
    It wasnt a good feeling. Compassion is just so rare these days. One auntie came up to me though after I picked myself up, and asked me whether I was okay. That was enough I suppose.

    I know that my situation might not be as bad as the soldier who got stabbed to death, but kind words do help in times of distress.

    Oh you got bullied in primary school? Sigh me too. Lemme just give you a hug. I’m sure you’re having the last laugh considering the tall and intimidating stature you possess now.

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