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. 1 2010 at 10:39 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 reading, and glad you liked it! Part 2 is in the works now... :)

on Oct. 1 2010 at 10:36 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

Imaginedangerous: Thank you for reading! Sorry about the gore thing; I didn't even consider that when writing it...I don't have a problem with it (obviously) but I never thought others might. Again, sorry....

on Oct. 1 2010 at 8:56 pm
living4God BRONZE, Matthews, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Be content with God but discontent with how you serve God.'

Courage isn't the absense of fear, it's the ability to do what you have to do in spite of it

this is a cool story :) your descriptions were really good and painted a vivid picture. good job and i can't wait to see what happens next!

on Oct. 1 2010 at 11:49 am
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 404 comments

It was a pretty good piece, but I personally didn't like it just because I don't handle gore well. (I don't mind violence, just when it gets really bloody or graphic. The description of his bone showing almost made me woozy. Your writing is very powerful.) A sequel would be good for picking up the plot.

Note to The-Mentalist: I hated Space Odessy 2001. It was about three hours too long. :D


on Sep. 30 2010 at 8:12 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

Yeah, I understand what you mean.

on Sep. 30 2010 at 8:10 pm
Samantha.07 GOLD, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
15 articles 0 photos 20 comments
I'm just giving you advice of what I think this is so far. I know I haven't read anything more, and there is more to it, but for a first glance at the first section, that's what I felt.

on Sep. 30 2010 at 8:02 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

Hmm. I guess I was just trying to get you curious at this point. The story does continue, and all is revealed eventually...LOL I sound like a Jedi or something. :P But there is more referencing in the 2nd part, I promise, and if you only have one section and can't keep reading then I guess I'd be kind of annoyed to be plunked down in what seems like the middle of the story...

on Sep. 30 2010 at 7:57 pm
Samantha.07 GOLD, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
15 articles 0 photos 20 comments
Hmm..more than setting. More background, I suppose. Why not referencing to something in the past that'll hint the future and the reason he's there?

on Sep. 30 2010 at 7:17 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

Ah, I see where that could be a problem. Well...the next part doesn't exactly describe his face, b/c that's not what he's thinking about, but the part after that does. I didn't want descriptions like those to take away from the action, if they weren't related to what was going on. But yeah, I see what you mean, and thanks for reading!

on Sep. 30 2010 at 7:07 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 commenting, and yes, I have the most recent version on my computer. :P Glad you liked it, though.

on Sep. 30 2010 at 6:30 pm
starxoxo23 PLATINUM, New Hampshire, New Hampshire
21 articles 0 photos 97 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."
- Alan Alda

Wow! You're very good at imagery. This is a fascinating story - I think you should definitely continue with it! But I did notice a few issues with sentence structure that made the story as a whole slightly harder to understand. Maybe try some extra editing?

Overall, amazing job! Personally I think this piece shows a lot of promise =)


on Sep. 30 2010 at 4:51 pm
Serendipity_Pen GOLD, Shakopee, Minnesota
12 articles 28 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."
~ Arthur C. Clarke
"Better to remain silent and thought a fool then to speak and remove all doubt." ~Abraham Lincoln

Wow, that was really good! Lots of discriptions and feelings. It was like I could see him laying on the forest floor bleeding and broken.  One problem? I can't imagine his facial features, and in my mind, his head is kind of a blur. It would be nice if you could describe him more in the next part.

on Sep. 29 2010 at 9:57 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

So setting was lacking? I can see why you'd say that....yeah i don't give much except that it's in a forest at dusk.

on Sep. 29 2010 at 8:45 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

nah, this is fantasy, haha. ;)

on Sep. 29 2010 at 6:10 pm
PussnBoots GOLD, Tomahawk, Wisconsin
12 articles 0 photos 138 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When life hands you lemons, make apple juice. Then sit back and watch the world wonder how you did it." -Unknown
"The world is my pineapple. I just have to figure out a way past the prickly parts." -Me

Is Ilya a Russ.ian spy? ;)

on Sep. 29 2010 at 3:34 pm
Samantha.07 GOLD, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
15 articles 0 photos 20 comments
I think this passage needs more...feeling. I understand what the character feels, but not the atmosphere. The reader should know what's going on..I felt like I was reading a page of something right in the middle, not the beginning. I think after you include more information and a clearer mood, then the reader will be able to fully understand and follow along. Otherwise, description was great, just make sure you don't over-do it!

on Sep. 29 2010 at 9:21 am
mudpuppy BRONZE, Orangeburg, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 475 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is like a box of cheese and flower petal sometimes it's soft and sweet, sometimes it just plain stinks. - M.J.

It takes about two weeks by my understanding. :)

on Sep. 29 2010 at 12:10 am
A.Bekah.Girl GOLD, Menlo Park, California
17 articles 0 photos 29 comments

yup....let's go add it to the dictionary...

i'll watch for it...


on Sep. 29 2010 at 12:08 am
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

Glad you liked it. :) Since you seem to have more articles published than me, could you tell me how long it has usually taken for them to approve your stuff?

on Sep. 29 2010 at 12:06 am
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! Part 2 is awaiting approval...*taps foot impatiently*




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