Ilya's Tale, Part 1

September 19, 2010
By apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Ilya jerked awake in panic.


No, no, no, he thought frantically, struggling upright. His leg shifted on the blood-damp moss and he moaned in pain, almost blacking out again. No… He could not fall asleep again. The bandage was soaked through already; if not for his nightmare he might have been already dead.


Death would be easier, certainly—easier than the three miles he had run on a broken leg towards the thin hope of help. But his life had been dearly paid for. To give up now would dishonor the dead…


The forest seemed to lean in around him, dusk casting long shadows that blurred the air. Panting, Ilya lunged for a fallen branch just out of his reach. He grabbed it and dragged into his lap, stripping off twigs and leaves. That done, he tried to snap the branch but, weakened by blood loss, failed. The branch rolled from his hands and he had to sit back against the bole of the tree, closing his eyes as he recovered his strength. Stubbornly, he opened them again and drew his dagger.


The blade sliced skin as often as wood, but Ilya finally had the branch cut into three sections. These he positioned around his broken leg. Next, he pulled off his overshirt and, starting the first cut with the dagger, tore it into strips. He swallowed—now came the difficult part. Carefully, Ilya unwrapped the hasty bandage from his broken leg, plucking out stray threads left behind in his flesh. A glisten of white bone showed through, and he had to fight down nausea. Steeling himself, he lifted his leg and laid the strips of cloth under the three pieces of wood, then lowered his leg on top, trying to be gentle with his shaking hands. He tightened the first cord of the splint with a whimper.


When the rough splint was finished, Ilya fell back against the tree, sweating and shuddering with pain. His breath came in ragged spurts. Had the night grown darker, or was that his failing sight? With a monumental effort, he dragged himself back from the edge of unconsciousness, forcing into his mind the memory of the carnage and the sacrifice. Was he really going to lie down and die, after everything that had happened? He had survived this far, hadn’t he?


Ilya focused his eyes on a leaf, its green spoiled by a smear of his own blood. He let that leaf become the center of his world, a lodestone to steady his drifting mind and lend him strength. The leaf let him ignore the pain. It let him know what he had to do, hard as it would be. After gazing at the leaf until dusk was almost done, Ilya was ready.


He took a deep breath and cast his gaze around, looking for a branch to serve as a staff. The only likely specimen lay several feet away. Gritting his teeth, Ilya rolled over and crawled towards it, splinted leg slowing him as it scraped across the ground. With this staff clutched in both hands, Ilya levered himself to his feet. He waited a moment, swaying on his feet, knuckles white and face bloodless.


And then he smothered the voice inside that cried out I can’t do this! and took the first step.


The author's comments:
First part of a series of fantasy/action-adventure short stories I'm writing, inspired by a thread on the Writer's Workshop forum about how hard it is to write good fantasy. I took this as a challenge, of course, and here is the result. Enjoy!

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This article has 103 comments.


on Oct. 3 2010 at 6:00 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

yay imagery! ;) especially gross imagery...lol.

on Oct. 3 2010 at 5:59 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I can understand that, but this is fantasy...Ilya's a russian name, i forget what it means haha. I'm glad you liked the rest of it, though! :)

katie-cat GOLD said...
on Oct. 3 2010 at 5:44 pm
katie-cat GOLD, McClellandtown, Pennsylvania
13 articles 0 photos 163 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Look after my heart, I've left it with you."- Edward Cullen
"To love another person is to see the face of God . . ."- Les Miserables
"Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her out and let her scream." - Mark Twain

I liked this.  It was interesting and had very good detail.  However, I wasn't sure about the name "Ilya."  I'm not big on out-of-the-ordinary names, but that's just my opinion.  Other than that good job :)

on Oct. 3 2010 at 4:17 pm
itsokaytobeme16 GOLD, Thronwood, New York
10 articles 0 photos 17 comments
The imagery in this piece is incredible! 

on Oct. 3 2010 at 3:17 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Haha! Really? lol thank you!!!

on Oct. 3 2010 at 2:19 pm
Heatherr-feather GOLD, Coquitlam, Other
15 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
" When you give it all up, you get it all. You end up losing absolutely nothing, other than some well cherished opinions and ideas. "











- Dennis Genpo Merzel

the ipitomy of perfection !

on Oct. 3 2010 at 2:13 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thanks so much! :) Anyway, part 2 is in the (slow) process of being approved. :P

gleekster 14 said...
on Oct. 3 2010 at 1:23 pm
An author's imagery can never be too much. It can only be vague and unclear or vivid and beautiful and yours was the clearer of the two. Great job! I'd like to hear part two.

on Oct. 3 2010 at 1:08 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thank you. I was worried that some of the imagery and description might be a bit too much, actually...

on Oct. 3 2010 at 1:05 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

OK thanks, I know it's kind of hard/inconvenient to do a word-by-word edit when there's so much other work out there. I'll run it through MS Word again, lol, and see if I can't catch them myself. :)

on Oct. 3 2010 at 10:27 am
ForeverFelix PLATINUM, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
30 articles 2 photos 207 comments

Favorite Quote:
Daydreams can be worse than nightmares, but that never stops me.

I'll try to remember to point out the typos if I have time, and Ilya just sounded like a girl's name to me...xD

on Oct. 3 2010 at 10:16 am
gleekster14 GOLD, San Angelo, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
" I still belive, in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart."

Nice descriptive detail and you created images that were quite easy to imagine.

on Oct. 2 2010 at 10:22 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thank you for the rating! :)

on Oct. 2 2010 at 10:21 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thank you!! :) Glad you liked it...AH everyone thinks he's a girl at first, lol! Maybe it's because I'm a girl and people see that + name ending in a and think, oh, she must be writing a girl character...

on Oct. 2 2010 at 10:20 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

oh yeah and could you point out the typos please? thanks!

on Oct. 2 2010 at 10:20 pm
apocalyptigirl BRONZE, Staunton, Virginia
4 articles 2 photos 285 comments

Favorite Quote:
"DON'T PANIC." ~from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Question: if I wasn't a girl, would you be so quick to assume Ilya was a girl? B/c most people write from the perspective of their own gen.der. (ilya is a russian male name, btw...haha in looking up names i've noticed that sometimes what english speakers think of as feminine names turn out to be masculine in russian. :P)

on Oct. 2 2010 at 7:45 pm
kao-chanu SILVER, Central, Utah
7 articles 1 photo 51 comments
sweet nice detail! i think i read this before, randomly but i rated it this time. 5! good job

on Oct. 2 2010 at 7:27 pm
ForeverFelix PLATINUM, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
30 articles 2 photos 207 comments

Favorite Quote:
Daydreams can be worse than nightmares, but that never stops me.

I originally thought it was girl...lol xD This is really well written, just some little wording mistakes and typos. I think you're going to have an easy job at fantasy if you write like this...but it is difficult, the whole-other-world-with-things-that-don't-exist thing. The descriptions have to be amazing...and yours are so far. Great job! Keep writing =)

Fayrouz SILVER said...
on Oct. 2 2010 at 7:08 pm
Fayrouz SILVER, Fargo, North Dakota
9 articles 12 photos 364 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only dead fish swim with the stream"

Woah, I thought the main character was a girl at first! I think that makes it more unique and fantasy like tho! Good job with the grammar, too. None of those silly mistakes! Good job with the blood and setting, too. I like it :)

on Oct. 2 2010 at 8:53 am
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 404 comments
It's fine, don't worry- it's not like it made me pass out or anything... :)


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