Jasper’s Key

Pondering

This week’s Writing Challenge is to write a short story inspired by one of four pictures. I chose the picture above and below is my short story. Let me know what you think guys.

Jasper crouched on the shore line, deep in thought. He knew they were on his trail, the soft piece of parchment in his hands standing testament to that. He glanced up at the horizon and swore when he saw a sail in the far distance. They had tracked him down days before he thought they could. Reminding himself that he should never underestimate these opponents he began preparing for their arrival, knowing he had no chance of escaping before they arrived, and should he try they would kill him. Not that Jasper was defenseless. 30 years of service with the Order of the Blue Star had honed his magical skills to an art, each form oozing deadly beauty. Thinking of The Order reminded him of the oath he took upon joining:

“Fear and rage, be not your guide,
Neither be the sin of pride.
Justice, firm and self assured,
Mercy given, and Peace ensured.”

His pursuers were not hindered by such ideals, and one wrong step would be the end of Jasper. Stretching up from the sand, he flexed his muscles in turn, preparing himself both mentally and physically for the challenge ahead. He checked the distance of the sail and guessed he had about twenty minutes before they arrived.

Jasper’s pursuers were part of a different order, called the Sect of Silence. Known for their ruthless policies and merciless nature, especially towards those with magics other than their own, The Sect was feared throughout the realm. Jasper prepared a few magical surprises, in case this meeting did not go as he hoped. He would have been happier if he knew why they were chasing him. Glancing at the horizon again he was surprised to see that the ship had fully come into view and that they would be reaching the shore shortly. He glanced at the piece of parchment in his hands again, which only had four words on it, “We know who you are.”

He jogged along the shore to where they would land and planted his feet, knowing that he would have to make a stand instead of running. Calming his mind, he suppressed the fear in his heart and closed his eyes to wait, knowing His magic would warn him when his pursuers got close.

His neck tingled and he opened his eyes to see three figures in long dark robes, their faces hidden under black hoods. With a calm voice that didn’t betray the fear lurking in his heart he said:

“Who are you? And why are you pursuing me? I am a Mage of The Order of the Blue Star and you will answer my questions.”

The hooded figures stopped in front of him and the one in the middle lowered his hood. What Jasper saw was a gruesome parody of a human face. Scars gave the pale complexion a permanently angry expression, and Jasper could see through the man’s ears which had turned translucent, a side effect of the dark magics he practiced. The figure’s face stretched into a grin as he spoke:

“We have found you Jasper Greyshield. You will give us the key.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about.” Jasper replied, whilst his mind raced to figure out what they were after.

“Do not toy with us! Give us the key or suffer our wrath!” The figured shouted in Jasper’s face.

“Kill me if you must, but I still do not know what you are talking about.”

The dark figure’s aides giggled, titillated by the prospect of violence, hoping their master would release them to ravage this insolent mage. Their master stalked around Jasper, and whispered in his ear:

“They are dying to get their hands on you, you know. Your reputation precedes you, and they would love nothing more than to break you. To test your metal as it were. Or you can just save yourself the trouble and give us the key.”

Jasper had a fair idea what these men were after, but played for more time:

“I have told you I have no idea to what you are referring. Now leave me be.”

Anger flashed across the leader’s face. He placed a finger on Jasper’s chest and excruciating pain shot through Jasper’s sides. The man removed his finger and Jasper managed to catch his breath. Starring into the leader’s horrifying visage Jasper stood his ground and planted his feet wide. Muttering a mantra under his breath he trigger one of the spells he had prepared earlier. A bright flash exploded in the sky behind him and as the hooded figures glanced towards it Jasper’s hands spun in front of him, conjuring blue flames from the air which engulfed the robed figures. The leader stood impassive as the flames licked around him, protected by his magic, but his minions were not so lucky, and soon they were reduced to piles of ash.

“It’ll take more than that to stop us Jasper Greyshield!” The leader shouted whilst attempting to still the flames surrounding him.

But Jasper was not listening and furiously twisted his fingers through intricate shapes in front of him. With a second flash a blue shield encased the survivor, incapacitating him. Jasper maintained his calm voice:

“Your minions deserved their fate, for their cruel, gruesome ways, but there is still hope for you. This shield will release should you change your mind.”

With that Jasper walked away, knowing the survivor would starve to death before he could release the shield….

Image from The Daily Post here. Many thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands

A short story inspired by this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words | The Daily Post.

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Posted in Daily Prompt, Fiction
2 comments on “Jasper’s Key
  1. litadoolan says:

    Great pace to your story. Action packed. Gripping.

    • lucasgoon says:

      Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to read it and comment – still finding my feet when it comes to writing but I am glad someone is enjoying it. 😛

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