In a Name

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
One day on a world with no names somebody issues a challenge to everyone: to find the most valuable thing they could in two years. The prize is supposed to be priceless. He goes on a great adventure in order to win the mysterious prize.

Submitted: December 21, 2013

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Submitted: December 21, 2013



In a Name

 Once upon a time he was born. His mother lived in a land out there. He wasn’t anything special. His brother was better at everything. His sister was worse at everything. He was just somewhere in the middle.
 One day the ruler of the land sent out a message to everyone within the city walls and beyond. It was an invitation to a set of games. He would grant a prize to the winner. The identity of the prize was not written, but it was supposed to be something priceless.
 He couldn’t resist, and neither could his siblings. They all went to the location written on the letter. Whatever the prize was, it had to be good!
 “Good morning, citizens!” He exclaimed to the people exclaimed. “Today, I have invited you to a game. A prize of great value will be bestowed upon the winners. As you know, I cannot reveal the prize. Now then, each of you will get a number. Pair up with those who have the same number as yours.”
 As they were told, they each received a random number. He received the number 97. He tried to look for other 97’s, but he couldn’t find any. In the end, all of them had a small group except for him.
 After that they were each led outside. Each group was granted the same mission: to find something of incredible value. Whoever found the most valuable item within two years time wins. He didn’t know what to search for, so he decided to travel around. Armed with only his hands, he traveled across the world.
 The world was still connected at this time. Nobody had to traverse water, but people still did. They wanted to find sunken treasures or other things like that. The boats sank before any of them discovered anything. The smart people stuck to the large unexplored land given to them. He was one of these people.
 He did his best. He traveled for many months before he discovered a cave. By now he was armed with a bow, along with many arrows. He had practiced enough that his aim was deadly. He was confident in his skills, so he went in.
 The cave was small and empty. It wasn’t anything special, just a small crevice in a rock. He poked around the place errantly. Suddenly he found a dagger at his neck. He turned around and found the person assaulting him.
 “What are you doing here?” He asked.
 “Exploring.” He sweated a bit, but managed to carry on. “How about you.”
 “Same. I take it you’re part of the game?”
 “Yeah, I’m number 97.”
 “52. Don’t count on your life. There is more than one way for this game to end.”
 He would have flinched, but there was still a weapon inches away from his doom. He looked around, trying to find a way out of the situation.
 “Now, give it to me straight and don’t make me use this.” He drew the blade closer. “Where’s the rest of your group?”
 “Don’t have any.”
 He scoffed. “Really? They died off so fast? There’s no way you made it this far by yourself.”
 “Well I did.”
 The person flung him back. He crashed into one of the rocks covering the floor of the cave. Suddenly, a door opened on the north wall.
 “By God, what is this?” He asked.
 “How should I know?”
 “Everyone, bring it in. It’s safe!” He beckoned. Into the cave came three more boys. They each sported a different weapon, from swords to spears.
 He tried to leave the cave, but the grip on his shoulder reminded him that he was captive.
 “Sorry, but we’re not done yet. You go first. My group’s safety comes before your own.”
 One of the girls pushed him forward. He hesitated, reaching for an arrow. As he took his first step he pushed him.
 “Well get on!”
 The first thing he noticed was the stench. It smelled like a billion rotten eggs dying in a metal factory! He dropped his arrow to grip his nose as he carried on through the enormous cave. Group 52 followed him as he cowered along.
 After they walked for a few minutes without any troubles the path split. After a bit of muttering to each other, he went with the boy and the girl. The other two took the opposite path. As they travelled on, the silence became very awkward.
 “So, how did your team die?” He asked.
 “They didn’t die,” he answered.
 “So you were lying to us?”
 “No, I haven’t told a lie.”
 “Wait,” he spoke up, “You don’t mean to say you never had a group.”
 He nodded. The other two looked at one another, and then shrugged.
 After a few more moments of silence a light became visible. He tried to rush out in happiness, but he stopped her and crouched against the curve. He ushered him on, and sadly, he could do nothing but agree. He decided that if he did anything else there would be more convincing metal.
 As he turned the corner he immediately took notice of the treasures. There were mounds of gold scattered everywhere, like the inside of a dragon’s horde. He then saw the ceiling. The light seemed to be coming from fluorescent crystals, each glowing with a different color of the rainbow. He didn’t notice the final thing until he entered the room. A giant tail swept across the ground.
 “Oh no.”

 He was bored out of her mind. Her partner was jumping at every little thing. Every so often he would stomp loudly just to see his reaction. Every single time he ended up jumping and flinging his shield into the air.
 He always wondered why he took only a shield. He herself took a spear. It felt very comfortable. For some reason all he wanted was a shield though, no sword to go with it. It didn’t make any sense.
 When he told them that they should each choose a different weapon, he expected him to take the flail or something. Instead he took the sword and shield. He then threw the sword into the wilderness. Later, he picked the sword up. He now uses duel-blades, yet he was stuck with only a defensive item.
 Even worse, every time they tried to give him something extra, he would just shake his-
 There was a cracking sound interrupting her thoughts.
 “What was that?” He asked.
 “I don’t know. Maybe-” A dart was only inches away from her head. He then became aware of all of the holes in the walls, as well as the loose tile he stepped on.
 “I’ll go first,” he took a step, but he stopped him.
 “Wait. These darts will run out some time. We should just watch them stop.” He nodded and took a seat. He was about to as well when he heard a noise behind her. It sounded like sliding stone.
 He then saw that the wall behind them was gone. The ground was slightly inclined. The sound of a moving rock resounded around the cave.

 “Dragon!” He shouted. His partners came to the rescue.
 Her first action was to try to stab the dragon with her blade. Like most dragons, the scales were too thick. He tried to fire some arrows, but he couldn’t get a good aim. The dragon kept running sloppily toward him, and the arrows hitting the dragon’s body didn’t do much.
 He drew another arrow when he became aware of the pause in the dragon’s rampage. He turned to face his target, which now had its mouth open. It took him a few seconds to realize what the open mouth meant. A flicker like flint struck by steel flashed in the dragon’s mouth. He was pushed out of the way as the dragon spat a bout of fire.
 The fire lasted only a second, yet the ground that was hit was blackened like ash. The golden baubles melted against the blast.  Even he could feel the incredible warmth of the shot. He did his best to ignore it as he jumped over the dragon’s tail.
 He watched as he ran up the dragon’s spine, dagger in hand. The reptile hadn’t noticed as he climbed onto the head. The dragon made a sharp turn and began trying to chase her. He was having trouble holding on.
 Finally, after the dragon made its twists and turns, he climbed onto the head. In an effort to distract it, he shot as many arrows at the chest as possible. This did little to faze the dragon as he continued his pursuit. The poor girl was still forced to run for her life.
 He, stealthily as he could, clambered onto the monster’s snout. Somehow, the creature hadn’t noticed him yet. With one powerful lunge, he thrust his dagger into the beast’s eye. The dragon moaned in pain and shook his head rapidly. The motion was too powerful, and he was shot off the dragon as fast as an arrow. Before he could be crushed by the ground, he caught him.
 He did his best to shoot at the other eye as the two partners helped each other out. All of his shots missed; the dragon was just moving too fast. Finally, he shot an arrow into the dragon’s mouth. It didn’t go down the throat. The arrow found its way stuck inside the reptile’s upper jaw. This was enough to hurt the dragon.
 As they recovered, the dragon screamed. It jumped to its feet and looked toward the group with its good eye. As they prepared themselves for any attacks, the monster only took a look up. It then spread its wings.

 They ran from the boulder chasing them. They stood back-to-back in an effort to block the darts. Somehow neither of them had been shot yet. He was blocking the left with his shield, while he used her staff skills to block the right side with her spear. They were actually doing a pretty good job, as the boulder was still a while away.
 “I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up. My shoulder’s getting tired,” he said, still keeping up with the projectiles. He dared to glance toward the other end of the cave. It was only a few more steps before the darts stopped.
 It took a while, but their rush continued. The bolder was a very good motivation. Only one more step before they could ignore the holes in the walls.
 He took that one step. As he stopped blocking the floor exploded beneath her. A dragon flew into the air, three arrows following it. He was sent sailing through the cavern. He flinched, but somehow avoided being damaged. He frantically looked around for her. The boulder was still slowly moving.
 When the dust cleared away, he saw her unconscious body. He ran over to her and tried to wake her up. After inspecting her a bit he saw the dart that hit her leg. The boulder was very close now. The darts stopped, probably collapsed in the destruction. He looked ahead to see that the floor was cave in now. There was no telling how deep it was.
 The gap was too long to jump across. He didn’t know what to do. He still wasn’t waking up. He was sure he might have had an idea. He was smarter than him. He finally came to a conclusion, the boulder only a few feet behind.
 He picked her up and made a jump. He knew he wouldn’t make it across, but he had to do something. He decided that somebody had to live through this. He threw her as far as he could while falling to his death. A thump echoed around the room, causing him to let out a breath of air. He relaxed as he continued to fall.

 The dragon beat its wings rapidly. He jumped onto the dragon’s back again as it flew into the ceiling, breaking it into millions of bits. He shot a few arrows at the monster before it took off. As it flew into the sky, the arrows hit it. They only managed to bounce off the thick layer of scales.
 The dragon soon faded into the sky. He glared at him.
 “You just cost me a group member. Now, I command you to not take ANY of this treasure. Me and my group shall bring it all back and win the prize.” He nodded at this. What could he do, he couldn’t kill him.
 He thought about this. He had so many chances to take their lives, yet he didn’t. He’s never killed anyone before, and he didn’t want to start. Just the thought of someone dying at his own hands scared him.
 Meanwhile, he started to throw all the spoils he could hold. He didn’t seem to care what it was, as long as it was expensive-looking. There was still the danger of melting gold, but he succeeded in avoiding it.
When his bag was finally full, a boulder dropped from the sky. It crushed his satchel, and everything in it flung around the room. He was about to yell at him when a body landed on the floor. He turned his head. He definitely didn’t want to see a dead person splattered on the floor.
He only became angrier at this. He was about to yell something when the dragon crashed into the ground, propelling everyone into the wall. A valiant figure rose from the dust, sword impaled into the beast’s skin.
“And that is how you kill a dragon!” He said, hopping off of its body. “Now, let’s take all of this stuff.
He suddenly looked very happy, which for some reason made him more uneasy.
“You, go grab the treasure for us,” he commanded in his glee. He sighed, and the three of them got to work.

He woke up by herself. Her spear was missing, but he did her best to ignore it. He spent a whole minute trying to call out to him, but he was nowhere to be seen in the narrow hallway. The only thing he could think of is the pit behind her. He turned away from it and walked on.
He came to a set of stairs. One went up, the other down. He decided to go up first. It was an exit, covered up by a bunch of bushes. He couldn’t leave yet, so he decided to go down. When he arrived at the bottom, he saw the rest of the group waiting.
“There you guys are! I was worried I would never see you again. You won’t believe what just happened. We were chased by a boulder through a hall of sleeping darts! Beat tha-” He halted her bragging as he noticed the dragon immobilized on the floor.
“Yeah, I did that,” he said, watching her eyes light up in awe.
He was about to say something else, but he stopped her. “We know that he died. We buried his corpse just a while ago. Now, help me carry these bags out of the cave.” He threw a heavy bag filled with riches toward her.
They left. The group waved goodbye to him. They decided that he probably wouldn’t let more than one group win, and they really wanted that prize. So, he was left alone with the dragon and a crushed leather satchel under a boulder. He was doing his best to forget the dead man on the ground.
He grabbed the bag and went about taking this and that. After he collected enough stuff to fill half of the bag, he became aware of some heave breathing. He turned his head to see the dragon, his good eye open. His eye wasn’t the only open part though.
The familiar sparks cascaded from the dragon’s through. He had little time to react. He drew an arrow and looked for a weak spot. He didn’t have enough time, so he decided to aim near the snout.
He braced for fire. Somehow, the fire didn’t come. He turned to see that the dragon collapsed on the ground, dead, this time for real. He looked around for the arrow. He then saw markings going down the dragon’s nostril. He sighed in relief and continued looting. He then thought of something cleaver.
He picked up his bag, the gold slowly pouring out, and looked at the dragon. This was going to be a very long trip.

It’s been nine months since the cave incident. He still had the satchel intact. He also had a bit of secret cargo. It was hidden by a drape inside a giant cart. He couldn’t believe that it only took two months to get to the cave. Going back to town took seven more months!
The valuable item was pretty heavy though. He was moving at a snail’s pace. He continued on slowly when he heard a distant sound.
“Halt!” A voice called out. He suddenly found a blade at his chest. He was feeling déjà vu for some reason.
“Drop the bag,” the man said. Having no other choice, he dropped what he was carrying. A woman came out of the bushes. He was dressed in a black bandanna. These were obviously thieves, and they just took his gold.
They left without a word. He just got back to work. The thing in his tarp was worth much more than that stuff anyway.

“We found friendship. I am in love with her now! Our two groups merged together to become group 1-36!” He yawned at the next “group” who had come empty handed. This wasn’t the only group who had ‘found’ friendship.
He just said the same thing he did to the rest of them. “I’ll consider the valuable you found,” and then he shooed them off. He wished another group would come that was as rich as the other one. Seven whole bags of pure gold! Now that’s something.
“Okay,” he started after they last group left,” Are there any more participators?”
“Me!” He shouted. The cart behind him really slowed him down. It took a year to go from the cave to the castle!
“Okay then, what is it that you found?” He asked in a somewhat-bored tone.
He ripped off the tarp to reveal a red, dead, genuine dragon. This surprised him.
“Where did you get that?” He asked. He thought about how to answer the question for the whole duration of the trip. During this time, he learned something very important about this world.
“Okay, let me begin.” He looked toward the crowd of other participants. He didn’t spot group 52, which made him feel much better.
He started out by telling them that he wasn’t lying. Anyone could call him out on any event that seemed false. He then said he would tell the tale in a third-person view, like any good bard would.
“It started two months after the challenge started. He had no other group members, only himself. He found an interesting cave. It seemed normal enough, so he almost left. He then accidently hit a wall, which opened up. He entered the cave, a little bit scared.”
“The cave was very dangerous. He had to avoid sleeping darts flying from the walls and rolling boulder intent on crushing him to death. After these trials he found a room filled with treasure. When he took his first step in, he saw the giant monster,
“The dragon looked at him and immediately attacked. He used all of his body parts, from its head to its tail, in order to kill him. The creature even breathed fire in order to see his end! He climbed onto the dragon’s back as quietly as he could. The dragon didn’t notice him, as it was busy trying to catch something else. Ignored, he pounced onto the dragon’s snout and stabbed him in the eye.”
“The dragon howled in pain. It didn’t know what to do, so it flew into the air in fear, breaking the wall of the cave. Needless to say, he brought it down using only his sword. With the dragon down and him safely on the ground, he forced him to pick up all of the gold. As he was doing so, the dragon woke up again.”
“He drew his bow and ended the dragon’s life with a perfect shot in the dragon’s nose. He then finished filling eight bags of gold before leaving. He noticed the dragon, and decided it was very valuable too. Who’s ever seen a dead dragon before?”
“On the way back to the castle, he was robbed. The thieves stole the dragon’s loot from him. They ignored the dragon, which was expertly covered in a tarp. It took a long time, but he made it back, with this to show you.”
During the story the crowd ooh’d and awed. He didn’t tell a single lie in the whole tale, so nobody called him out. Telling the truth can be pretty easy. He looked at the people’s faces and came to a conclusion.
“We have a winner!” He called out. Half of the crowd cheered. The other half scowled at their bad luck. “Now, come with me into my room. I’ll give you the prize there.”

His room was very modest, despite his riches. He was surprised that it wasn’t decorated with any precious metals. It was only thread and wood.
“Now, I saw what you did in your story. I’m not sure how you didn’t have any group members though,” He said with his back toward him. “But I’ve noticed the problem too. We can only describe each other with he, she, and it.  What you did was not only clever, but true. I saw the group that was with you. They were carrying many bags of riches. They never explained where they found them.”
“The prize was an idea. Something I decided we needed. The challenge was a way to see who was clever enough to expose this method of describing events. You were the only one who did it.”
He looked at him. He didn’t understand what was happening. He won an idea? “So, what do I get?”
“I will give you something important. I call it a name. We can use them to discern one another. I will call you Namer. Whenever somebody wants to refer to you, they shall use this title.”
Namer looked at him. “That’s what you gave me? A title?”
“No, I gave you my idea. I want you to explore the planet and give everybody and evrything you see a name. It doesn’t matter who or what it is. I needed somebody agile and good with words. That person is obviously you, Namer.”
He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t expect this kind of prize at all. Yet, somehow this intrigued him. He bowed slightly before leaving the building. Namer had a lot of people to meet. But first, he decided to name the ground underneath his feet. He was still knew to naming, so he called everything something redundant. He called this world Earth.

© Copyright 2019 Motus Ginus. All rights reserved.

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