Hey hey Mad Minions,
One of the things I am doing, is I am writing a story for a Chinese IP. I am sure peeps like the South Korean stuff and the board game stuff, but this blog/vlog whatever, is going to be mainly about writing. Writing stories. Writing D&D adventures. Writing ransom notes. So here is the first draft (pardon the typos and bad grammar) of a chapter in one of the books (more on the other stuff soon) I am working on.
Its a short chapter, but it is one of my favorites.
As always, this is used with permission from Zeus Interactive, if you copy it they will come after you with pointy sticks.
“For the Love of One’s Mother”
The meadow Bren wandered through was full and green. He felt the heat of the sun bear down on him; the low buzz of the cicadas tickled his ear as he slowly pulled the cart down the bumpy road. All the roads in this part of the world were in this condition, “At least it didn’t rain. This road would have been a lot worse.” He mused and smiled to himself.
“Keep it down will yah?” His father said from the cart, entwined amongst all the items his father some how ‘aquired’ during their treks to the outskirts of the newly formed human kingdom of Porttown. “King Callum thinks he can unite the races with the dragons gone? Imbicile cannot even build a decent road.” He added some indecipherable mumbling before starting to snore, nursing another hangover.
Bren just smiled wider and kept on walking. It didn’t matter to him that his father drank a good percentage of the profits away, and then passing out for most of the way home. It didn’t even matter that he had to pull his father’s drunken body home, since that is the only time he had peace and quiet. He loved his father, but a twinge of resentment crept into his mind every once in a while for his mother. She worked hard for him yet he constantly drank away the profits that would allow them to obtain a better life. His mother must have once been a beautiful woman, but now her light brown hair was always snarled and unwashed. Her face had deep lines of aggravation etched under her eyes as if by a heavy knife. The clothes she wore were as shattered and torn as her dreams.
Occasionally, both he and his mother, Ahiss, would show up with black eyes, or bruises on their bodies. They lived in the ‘unsavory’ part of the city, so sadly this was common for many. Despite all this, he loved his father. Bren was wise for his age, he knew that while Ogger, his father, may not be the most scrupulous man, he tried his best. It was only twelve years after the war with the dragonborn and he exploited the elves decimation from the poisonous bomb the dragonborn created, to earn a living. But it was still a living. Many had their homes destroyed and had loved ones lose their lives in the war. The mortar was not even dry yet in the newly built city of Kingsport, which was erected on the Spine Tears River, marking the expanded northern border of the civilized lands.
Bren took a slow gulp from the water flask that hung on his belt and continued to pull the cart. Ogger even used to use him to ‘acquire’ objects for him to sell to the elves when he was younger. But now, even at the age of twelve, he was almost as tall as his father. He grimaced at the memory where his father beat him because the goddesses cursed him with a son that was too tall to be any use. Instead his father used him as a workhorse, carrying heavier things like furniture and of course, pulling the cart. Bren liked this better anyway, he always felt remorse when he had to steal and even sometimes left something in its place. Even if it was a few pennies he had saved or a loaf of bread he took from father when he wasn’t looking.
The cart hit a bump in the road, and Bren froze as his father rolled around a bit cursing in a drunken stupor, but did not jostle fully awake Bren could not believe his good luck. If Ogger awoke, he would have gotten a beating and he knew it. ‘This is turning out to be a good day.” And smiled to himself. He contemplated whistling to release some of that happiness bubbling inside of him, but then decided not to push his luck and instead continued on in silence.
It was late afternoon by the time Bren had made it to the outer gates of Kingsport. His father was awake and laying sprawled out in the back of the wagon. He awoke a while ago due to a large number of horses running by in the opposite direction. Since the horses were fast and loud, one could hardly sleep through such a ruckus.It was Bren that got an apple core in the back of the head from his father for being disturbed from his slumber. Weaving through the bustling city streets, he pulled the cart and his father behind him. Turning down Rickety Street, his anticipation bubbled inside. He could almost smell Ma’s cooking from here and his mouth began to water. The area took on a more sinister air here, the local residents were a lot dirtier and most of them wore clothes that were worn and tattered. He turned down Cistern Alley where he called home.
An old woman whose back was so crooked she had to lean on her broom, stared at them through black rat-like eyes, “Back already Bren? She said. When he smiled and nodded at her, she added, “Glad you made it back alright.” Her face hardened a bit, “Glad you made at as well Ogger.” Bren wasn’t sure but he thought he heard her mutter something under her breath.
“Mind your own business you antique battle axe.” He said with a grunt. “Here I brought you a present you crooked old biddy.” He quickly guzzled the last of the contents of the bottle he held and threw the empty bottle at her feet where is broke sending pieces of glass dancing down the street. Ogger laughed, “There. Now you have something to do instead of bothering me.” Then set about pulling the cork from a new bottle with his teeth.
Bren looked his neighbor with an apologetic look upon his face, but she did not notice. She already began to try to sweep up the glass so none of the younger children in the alley would not step on the jagged pieces. Bren wondered what made his father so mean sometimes, but only for an instant. He only had one father, so he told himself he had to make the best of it. Their wooden house leaned heavily and many of the shingles had fallen off the roof and lay in the street in front of the building like discarded playing cards. Despite its appearance Bren sighed in relief after being on the road for so long he pulled the cart up to the front door and prepared to go in.
“Where do ye think yer going you lazy sod?”
“I wanted to greet Ma and let her know we made it back alright.” He secretly wanted a bite to eat since he had nothing to eat since the half of a loaf of stale bread this morning but he dared not tell his father that.
“I will tell her that. You need to get this cart unloaded.” He motioned to the cart and the crates and barrels it contained. He took a swig of the half full bottle and swayed a bit as his wavering gait got him to the three stairs to entrance to the house. He then challenged himself to lift his feet to the next step that lead to the front door.
Bren turned away, uncaring to see whether or not his father accomplished his impossible task or not. He did not care either way. He just wanted to hurry and finish this task, go inside and rest his feet, get some food in his belly and find out how his mother was doing. He just told himself unloading always went quicker and easier anyway since the crates and barrels were not empty when the trading is complete. The thought made Bren smile in spite of himself and he found his second wind. In just under ten minutes the empty cart sat in front of the house completely empty and the containers stacked neat alongside the house. Bren even sat on the front steps for a moment and took off his shoes. He winced at the smell as he peeled them off from around his toes. After a minute a resting after his labor, he stood to go inside, proud of all that he accomplished the last few days.
Entering the door he heard his mother cry out, “Bren! How could you?!”
“What? What do you mean?” He looked bewildered. This was not the reception he expected form his mother.
His mother wept in her hands while his father stood nearby. His fahter looked from Ahiss to him and said while shaking a finger at him, other hand clutching his half empty bottle so tight his knuckles began to turn white, “You know what she means you lazy do-nothing!” he took a wavering step toward Bren with the glint of murder in his eyes. “Because of your carelessness while pulling the cart down that bumpy road boy, we lost over half of the money! We are gonna starve because of your stupidity!”
Bren stood there as if someone nailed his feet to the floor and it felt like time slowed to a stop. No words formed in is throat as he saw his mother with her face buried in her hands, every tear emerged from between her fingers and taking an eternity to fall to the floor. Not his mother, not her.
Bren clenched his ten your old fist and struck his father directly under his jaw, sending him reeling back a few steps. “Leave her alone!” He screamed and swung again but this time his father was ready and used his free hand to block the clumsy attack even while in his drunken state.
“You ungrateful brat! I will kill you!” His father brought the hand with the bottle down upon the top of Bren’s skull knocking him to his knees. He struggled to get to his feet and looked up to see his mother with her face still in her hands, too ashamed to even look at her own son.
He managed to say, “Ma…” before the bottle came back down hard on the back of his head again, making the world flash white with pain before an unending blackness engulfed him.
Hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time, be good.