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The Shack

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It’s not the best house, but it’ll do for now. Well, it might be a stretch to even call it a house. Just a small shack with a floor, walls, roof and a lockable door, all situated in the middle of a lush evergreen forest. Only two hours have gone by since I mysteriously appeared on this world. Already I’ve learned of the numerous dangers and savages that lurk around.


Just earlier, I barely scraped by and escaped the jaws of a pursuing wolf. Running into my house, I slammed the door behind me and frightenedly listened to the wolf’s snarls of dissatisfaction.


On the other hand, this world has provided me with an abundance of metal rich rocks. All scattered across the hills, each carrying their own unique quality and metals. A dirty yellow rock, glistening white, hazy grey, all which could be used to advance my current equipment.


It wasn’t long until I was almost carrying more ores than I could hold. I had been hitting these large ore rocks with a sharp stone, collecting the fragments. I must have been going for twenty or so minutes when I saw something out of the corner of my eye.


The wood of his bow creaked as he pulled it taught, aiming in my direction. With what little I could carry in my dead sprint I did. I zigged and zagged back to my house, peering over my shoulder back at him. The man wore a helmet made out of the head of a skinned wolf. The jaws of the wolf were stretched wide and I could see the man’s eyes glaring out from them. His clothes were nothing more than some cloth wrapped around his body.
Suddenly I fell to my knees and looked at my reddened left arm. An arrow had dug in and I suddenly started to feel the pain and warm blood gushing between the gap of the arrow shaft and the skin it had pierced. I was so close, maybe ten meters from my door. I gritted my teeth and staggered towards the door, grasping my flailing left arm with my right.


An arrow whizzed by my face and I felt a chill run across my body. I reached my door in what felt almost like an eternity. Quickly shuffling in, I slammed the door, putting my back against it while I fixed the lock with my right hand.


The grass rustled outside as the man in the wolf helmet walked up to my door. He tapped on it with his bow twice and said in his dry husky voice, “I’ll be back.”


*       *       *


         My ears rung, fazed out by the explosion on the outside of my door. The door was probably the weakest part of my house. With all the stone I had collected, I reinforced my walls, but my door was just a thin piece of sheet metal. I had only made it an some hours earlier. Forged from the ores I smelted in the furnace I made. But now it was being breached before my very eyes.


As my vision re-adjusted from my shocked state I could see a large dent in the door. An apparent crack spanned half the length of it, but the door still stood. It wouldn’t be able to withstand another blow.


I crawled up to my storage chest and pulled out a crossbow that I had made the night after I encountered the man in the wolf helmet. Loading my makeshift arrow, just a wooden shaft with a charred tip and leaves tied to the back, I heard the person place another explosive charge on my door and the faint fizzle of a fuse.
A roar of laughter broke just beyond the door.


It must be him, I thought. His laughter carried the same quality of voice.
I became overcome with rage. I could feel my blood boil as I cursed the man for attempting to kill me before, and now for trying to break into my only home. I tightened my grip on the crossbow, aiming it at the door. The seconds turn into minutes and the minutes into hours. Then suddenly silence. The fuse stopped, followed by the immense explosion.


My metal door blew off its hinges and leaped a couple feet into the room before crashing to the ground in a large bang. The smoke from the explosion slowly seeped in through the distorted doorway.
Before I knew it a silhouette ran through and into the opposite corner from where I stood. The wolf helmet showed through the smoke and the man’s eyes suddenly turned in my direction, piercing the grey haze that now filled the room.


The string on my crossbow gave a thwack as it hurled the arrow in his direction. A sharp grunt of pain boomed from the man as he staggered against the back wall. After he stabilized himself, he started approaching me with what appeared to be a sword in his hand.


I hurled my crossbow at him and he brought up his arms to deflect it. I picked up my axe that was lying in the corner behind me and held it up over my shoulder ready to strike. The man was much closer now, still cautiously approaching. I could see the arrow I fired protruding from his left shoulder, and the sword he wielded held up on the same side.


He got in range and swung his sword horizontally at my torso. I tried to leap back, arms in the air gripping my axe, but I was too slow. The sword gashed across my upper chest, digging deep into my muscle then returning back to the man’s right side.


I couldn’t bear the pain, but my rage wouldn’t let me fall. It fueled me with the intent to crush the intruder. And now was my chance. I accelerated my axe with all my might, blood gushing from my chest, a cry echoing from my mouth.


The man was desperately bringing up his sword to block the blow but he was too late. My axe landed right in the base of his neck and a spew of blood shot out. His body seemed to crumble, his sword fell out of his hand and his knees gave way as he fell to the floor in one thud.


I wasn’t sure what to do, but I realized my lungs heaving and coughing in the smoke filled room. I fled the house and ran into the patch of grass just outside my front door. Falling to my hands and knees, I coughed and wheezed out all the smoke in my lungs through the smirky grin of satisfaction on my face.


I calmed down and the pain that streaked across my chest became worse and worse. I grunted and sighed, flinching every time I moved just the slightest. I tilted my head upwards from the grass, staring at the forest. I waited a few seconds for my eyes to focus, transforming the green-brown blur into distinguishable objects. And then I saw it.


Standing perfectly still only ten or so meters ahead of me was the first danger I encountered on this world, and soon to be my last. What I saw in front of me was a wolf.




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isthisthetapwater said...
today at 12:14 pm
This is one of the best I've read on TeenInk up to this day!
 
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