Bard's tale 1.
Chapter 1 – Rattlesnake’s curse
“Never, in all my life have I felt this strange” said Bard, slowly regaining his consciousness. He looked around, only to see that he was lying in a middle of a desert. Sun was shining directly above his head and several drops of sweat rolled down his face. It was hot - far too hot for Bard who was used to waking up under a cool breeze of forest willows whipping their green tentacles in the wind. But there were no willows here. Not even a single grass blade, only sand where eye could see. Now and then a cactus stood proudly under the boiling Sun, observing the endless desert. When Bard finally managed to stand up on his feet, he staggered and fell back onto the ground. “Bugger!” he cursed. “What trickery is this?!” he cried as he attempted to stand up again. When he managed to get into a stable pose (his legs he put far apart, while balancing with his arms, constantly pottering about to prevent another fall), he looked around again. Everything around him was spinning in an unearthly manner, but that was all due to a tremendous hangover that was playing tricks on his head. As always, he remembered nothing.
After a little while, Bard managed to start walking. However, where he was going, he did not know. He walked forward across the endless blazing desert. Sometimes it appeared as if the cacti were showing him the right way to go. Their green barbed arms were slowly pointing into a distance. It could have been remnants of alcohol in Bard’s veins, but he swore that the cactuses were talking to him. They whispered one over another in a quick, bustling voice. Bard tried to ignore the voices at first, but the number of cacti surrounding him as he walked farther away was growing. The whispers were not stopping, and Bard decided to stop and listen to them after dragging his feet few more yards farther. He turned around, listening to the constant mumble of whispers, and saw that the cacti were somehow following him! The imaginary patch of ground on which he walked was literally covered with cactuses, all waving their spiky arms and whispering. Unfortunately, Bard couldn’t make anything out of the whispers, for the voices were too many, and one could not concentrate on just one single voice. Then suddenly, all the cacti were silent. In a second, a man in a dark tattered green robe, shuffled on his feet through the mass of cactuses. Bard looked at the man with great curiosity, but couldn’t make a word out. The cacti slowly spread out behind the man, as if they wanted to get a closer look at Bard. Finally, the man spoke with a tremendous voice, that of a great wizard. “You never paid any heed to the old prophecies…” The cacti repeated every sentence of the man in a murky reverb. “You thought they were all killed, hunted, murdered. And they were. All, except one.” Then the man stopped talking as the dark echo sounded behind him. Bard stood in one place, staring at the man with the what-the-hell-are-you-talking-about face, and finally managed to get out of himself a solid sentence. “Care to explain, old man?” he said in a shaken voice. The man then raised his head, only to reveal his scarred face. The man was obviously blind (or so Bard thought), for he was wearing a blindfold. “He’s already here. You were brought here for a reason! Miles away from your former home, you must face the evil beyond imaginable.“ The man finished the sentence, again with the horrendous reverb, and then he trembled in a terrific manner and disappeared in a cloud of green dust. When he did so, all the cactuses surrounding him fell to ground dead. All one could hear was a constant moaning among the fallen cacti. They were slowly dying and soon their sorrow moans died with them.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!” shouted Bard into the endless space, raising his clenched fist towards the sky.
"Every writer I know has trouble writing" - Joseph Heller