One aspect of the Creatures community that sometimes remains hidden are the stories, poems, and general fan fiction. I recently dove back into the world of writing, and Creatures provides all sorts of interesting material! I wanted to go in a slightly different direction and offer up one chapter of my current project every week or so. Perhaps this will also inspire others to imagine the ways that Norns, Grendels, and Ettins might exist in different settings. Please do not copy nor use this story without written permission. Enjoy the start of An Unnamed Creatures Tale!
The flames clawed at the night sky, as if trying to devour the blackness itself. The orange monster had already stolen away everything in sight: All that remained were burning embers and stubborn candles of fire that held on long enough to find another victim. Her small, green eyes were alive with terror, yet when she closed them tight, the crackling and roaring sounds continued the attack. It was all too much: The terror finally managed to produce a soft whimper from her.
“Hush,” came the automatic response from the Norn who held her tightly.
“Urdalya, please,” said a deep voice that was normally so strong, but was now so desperate. “Keep her quiet. If they find us…” His voice trailed off.
Suddenly, the smell of fire was overpowered by something else. Everything within her screamed to escape, to flee. The desire to run was far too much to bear, and she squirmed free from her mother’s grasp. Her young legs were still wobbly, yet her instincts gave her the courage to take each step. One after the other, just as she had been practicing. Her mother managed to clench the woven blanket that had been like another layer of her, yet she was not quick enough to stop her fear.
“Midari! No!” screamed her mother’s voice, now poisoned with the spreading terror. It was too late, though: She only knew of one landmark on this path, and that was the only thought on her mind.
Amid the swirling chaos and smoke that turned her eyes into pools of tears, she ran with all her might. The terrible smell was still all around her. Was it merely the fire? No: She could sense something much more sinister beneath it. Something in her told her to stop and turn back, for just an instant. It was something she would never forget, nor ever forgive herself for doing. The village was gone, burnt or still in the process of burning. Her home was destroyed, painted in charred black against a backdrop of awful light. The fire pulsed, as if it was alive. And then from the depths of it, as if a part of the flames itself, emerged the face of evil. A Grendel. The smoke curled away from it, as though the fire itself could not consume the evil. The image would always be etched in her mind.
It was her mother who could not escape him. She could not tell what noise flew forth from her lips, but it held every emotion coursing through her at that instant. The Grendel gave a short pause before he took his final leap. His hideous mouth curled up at the corner as he looked at her atop the crest of the path. Laughter croaked from his cruel throat, just before she saw her mother for the last time. They became one shadow in the tangled underbrush left over from the fire. Then they were gone.
“Midari, come,” the Norn with the deep voice commanded. He was not her father: Her last moment with him had been just before the fires began their dance. There was urgency in his voice, but all she could do was stare at the place where her mother had just been. It was all just a dream. A dream she could not wake from.
Her last memory was the sudden appearance of the Grendel next to her. He was covered in burning embers that could no nothing to pierce his scaly armor. As he raised a grotesque arm, a fiery glob fell upon her in a sea of stabbing pain. He grinned again, only this time he opened his mouth to show her a row of razor sharp teeth. His stench was drowning her… Fear closed all around her, even before his foul teeth could touch her. There was only one way to escape the evil. And so she closed her eyes, just as her mind closed the rest of her off to the world.
This story is a bit dark in nature, but I promise that it isn’t completely depressing! Is this something you would enjoy following along with? I am only about halfway finished with the story, which should end with approximately ten chapters. I have a tendency to ramble on and on, but the chapter format seems to have saved me from throwing a gigantic amount of text in front of visitors! What will happen to this little Norn after her jarring encounter? Check back to find out in the first chapter! Make sure to leave a comment if you would (or would not) like to read more!
Images Credited to the Original Creatures Web Site