unintentional digression

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

so this is my first short story and i plan on writing several more that revolve around dues mortem. so if you enjoy the story in any capacity then feel free to share; the same goes for if you hate
it, just let your boy know.

Submitted: November 07, 2017

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Submitted: November 07, 2017



With the peak of the mountain in sight, Dues rallies his strength to push onward to achieve his goal of ascending Mt. Apocalypsis. The summit is rumored to house a training ground that is superior to all others. Dues has been seeking this sanctuary for quite some time; he has hopes of being able to meditate and master a new level of combat that will enable him to finally end the tyranny of Natas.

He has been traversing the mountain for almost a fortnight and has reached physical and mental exhaustion. Even though the peak is almost within his grasp, Dues decides to set up camp for the night. He is hopeful that a good night’s rest and a full meal will provide him with the recuperation time and energy that he has been so desperately craving. However, this desire to rest is miniscule compared to the rewards that await him at the summit.

With the full moon looming in the vast darkness of the barren sky, Dues extinguishes the campfire and retires to his humble sleeping bag. The mountain air is crisper that it has been on the nights proceeding this one. Dues finds comfort in this change in atmosphere. Before he devotes himself to a dream filled slumber, he caresses the black leather hilt of his sword. He reminisces on the several occasions where the sword has proven its worth by vanquishing the followers of Natas. He then ponders on when the end of this war will come to be a reality instead of a mere fantasy that has been constructed by all of those who suffer from the oppression instilled by Natas himself. As these thoughts occupy Dues’ mind, Hypnos has commenced to do what he does best. Within the next few minutes Dues drifts into a deep sleep.

Vivid and descriptive images enter Dues’ mind; a sunset is visible with sperm whales breaching the surface of the ocean. A whaling ship was in pursuit of the ancient creatures, and had begun to lower its boats to harpoon the slowest of the pod. Dues was spectating from behind the eyes of an opaque whale. He could hear the bellowing voice of an enraged captain spewing orders to his crew. The ship from which the whalers were descending was remarkably dry considering the immensity of the waves generated by the flukes of the sperm whales. Dues could feel the panic among the whales in the peach colored sea water. But before he could act, he woke up to the cold touch of the icy snow.

The thought of physical exertion seemed rather unappealing at such an early hour. Even though the warmth of the sleeping bag kept Dues glued in place, he amassed the energy to finish his ascent of the mountain. A fearful realization occurred to him as soon as he rose to his feet; his steel plated sword was no longer in his sleeping bag. It had been pilfered while his mind was occupied by the leviathans and whalers. After several minutes of frantic searching, Dues was forced to accept reality. The only thing to do now is to keep moving forward.

Today’s weather was far fiercer than that of yesterday’s. The fragile snowfall from the morning had turned into a blinding blizzard. The path was beginning to take a sharp incline that forced Dues to climb instead of trudge along. The mountain was jagged and uneven. However, without the weight of his sword, Dues was finding it slightly easier to ascend the protruding cliffs and was filled with regret after realizing his own thoughts. Scaling the mountain was no easy task. Unfaltering resilience was required to tolerate gashed and bleeding hands. Dues had been in situations far worse than this one, so he did not complain to himself. The thought of saving the people who had been enduring pain for so long kept Dues from thinking about how cold he actually was.

He finally managed to reach a plateau that strongly resembled the Siberian Tundra. Dues could not see the sun and felt like he had been climbing for hours. The unwavering blizzard was making it difficult to cross the lethargic ply of snow that lounged all over the desolate mountain side. Dues decided that finding shelter was his best bet for survival.

Within the next hour, a cave revealed itself only a few yards in front of Dues. Stumbling past the threshold, he collapsed onto the frigid floor surrounded by darkness.

With fluttering eyelids Dues took in his surroundings. The tall walls of the cave were illuminated by unrecognizable rocks. His body no longer felt cold and he was strangely at ease. Dues mustered his strength so that he could stand on his feet. The glow of the rocks was like nothing he had ever seen before. The depths of the cave seemed to have a mystic ambiance that was calling out to Dues. He was still standing in the foyer when he was compelled to discover the source that was fueling his curiosity.

It had felt as if half an hour had elapsed when Dues came across something of interest. Emeralds lined the walls and created a shower of green light. Astonished by this phenomenon, Dues stood and remained transfixed on the gemstones. Never before had he seen an emerald with his own eyes; he had read about them in his studies during his adolescence, but did not expect them to be so mesmerizing. Dues unconsciously stepped closer to the wall and ran his fingers over the cold faces of the precious stones. They were embedded in the earth that composed the mountain. “Only if I had my sword.” He thought to himself.

After accepting defeat for a second time, Dues walked on and sought the end of the tunnel. Fatigue was starting to set in. When he continued down the path he finally saw something that gave him hope; a clearing was visible at last. He strode through the opening and into the training grounds he had been seeking for so long.

Shock was an emotion that Dues rarely experienced anymore, yet he was utterly dumbfounded once his eyes adjusted to the rays emitting from the sun. The training grounds was an enormous field that was populated by roses, daisies, and Bermuda grass. An adolescent redwood stood squarely among the other angiosperms. Pollen was flowing through the air and gave the scene a rather glazed look. Almost perfectly juxtaposed under the redwood was the sword Dues had been so adamantly thinking of. He approached the tree and gazed at the leather hilt and dazzling metal blade. Dues looked all around the deserted field in hopes of finding some explanation. However, his curiosity was not satisfied, for all that was present was the vegetation and himself. Dues grasped the handle of the sword and pulled with all of his might. The sword did not budge. Frustration flooded Dues’ mind and his temper could not be extinguished. With his emotions running high, he sat down with his back against the tree and began to meditate.

Meditation had been a means of achieving tranquility ever since Dues had first begun his training.  His master had taught him the fine art of kenjutsu; at the Shaolin Temple Dues was trained to become a master martial artist and samurai. His training was extensive and rigorous. After three years of superhuman endurance, Dues was proclaimed a Ronin and left the temple. Dues had witnessed the benevolence and atrocities that the world had to offer following his departure. He had protected the innocent and obliterated the malicious. Unfortunately, Dues still struggles with his morality in the face of Natas; a being that embodies hatred, anger, and cruelty. Dues knows that he must be the one to impale Natas’ heart with his blade, but Dues feels that there must be another way. “But what alternative is there?”. His mind went blank, and then he saw himself being ridiculed by his former master for his lack of discipline. “Focus on what is at stake! Thousands have perished due to Natas’ inhumane actions. Be persistent and unrelenting! Find the power that is within you to overthrow this emperor of evil.”

Being pulled back to reality gave Dues a sudden jump. His former master’s voice echoed in his mind. He was now standing beside the massive trunk of the young redwood; determination was written all over his countenance. Without hesitation he firmly grasped the hilt of his weapon and withdrew it from the Bermuda grass. Many particles of soil rose through the air as Dues held his blade triumphantly over his head. He had achieved the revelation that was necessary to overcome his conscience. He no longer had any doubt why his fate was sealed. Relief rinsed over his body and gave him enough energy to ascend the mountain a hundred times. He lowered his sword and allowed it to rest on his shoulder. He absorbed the scenery from the place that helped him in his never ending growth. He plucked a rose from a flower bed that lay isolated away from the redwood. He placed it into his breast pocket and made his way back to the tunnel from whence he came.

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