Original Fiction: Warrior’s Rest + Supporting a Friend

Because I am a cheap bastard and a terrible son all around, my only Christmas present to my father this year was a story I wrote in his honour. He’s my biggest fan, and he loves pretty much everything I write.

A photo of an oak treeThe end result is Warrior’s Rest, a story I threw together in half an hour late at night. I wouldn’t consider it my best work, but my father liked it, and that’s the important thing. In fact, he liked it enough to insist I post it on this here blog, so here we are.



Warrior’s Rest

© 2014 by Tyler F.M. Edwards.

The old man shuffled down what had once been a road, now just overgrown cobblestones choked by grass and weeds. Trees hung their branches overhead, swaying in a warm summer breeze.

All around, life was in full bloom. But the old man saw only death. In verdancy, he saw desolation. In growth, he saw ruin.

Once, a lifetime ago, this had been his home, a thriving village filled with the baying of hounds and the laughter of children.

He had left a long time ago. He had gone to war in search of glory. He had planned to return home with great wealth and honor, to become a respected man among his village and retire to a life of peace and plenty.

But wars dragged on, and roads stretched forward into infinity. The years had slipped by, and he had never seen his home again.

And now it was gone. Only broken cobblestones and shattered foundations remained to mark where a vibrant community had once stood. Perhaps the war had swept over it and snuffed it out, or maybe it had simply been abandoned.

He had thought he was doing the right thing. He had thought he was fighting for his people, to keep them safe, to honor their names. But what had it been worth, in the end? He had saved no one, and now everyone he had once loved was gone.

The man shuffled onward, his bones aching. The wind sighed through his white hair.

He came to one particular stone foundation, moss-grown and empty. This had been his home, so long ago.

His feet dragged with every step now, but he made his way into the ruins. His joints creaking, he sat down on the mossy ground where his bed had once stood. Here he had slept and dreamed of glory on the battlefield. Here he had shared his first kiss with the neighbor’s daughter. Here, he had been happy.

He lay down and closed his eyes. He was so very, very tired.

* * *

The old man dreamed. He dreamed without form or shape; light and color, sound and feeling dancing through his mind for time uncounted.

Slowly – so very slowly – awareness returned. He felt the warmth of the sun, and the kiss of the wind. The aches of his old body were gone, and a sense of peace settled upon him. Over long stretches of time, he felt his consciousness expand, up through the air and down into the earth.

And then he felt a great joy, warm and radiant as the summer sun, as he became aware of others around him, for he recognized them. They were all the people he had once known: his mother and father, the boys he had played with as a child, and even the neighbor’s daughter.

In the years that followed, travelers began to journey through the ruins of the village on their way to other places, and often they would stop to rest beneath the boughs of a great oak tree growing in the shell of one home. The leaves would rustle above them, even when the wind was not blowing.

And they said it sounded like an old man’s laughter.


In other news, an old friend of mine from back in the bad old days at TrekUnited has just started a page on Facebook to show off her writing. Judging by her stellar opening statement, this is a page that is worth your attention.

And while you’re at it, remember that I, too, have an official presence on Facebook, where you can get regular updates on my books, blogs, and interests.

Original Fiction: Bullets

It’s been a while since I posted any stories, so I thought I’d dredge up another from the Bad Old Days of our friendly writing contests back at TrekUnited (may it rest in peace).

This was from another of our ever-popular image-based contests, where each contestant was given a picture to use as the inspiration for their story.

This was what I was assigned:

An image assigned to me during a writing contest at TrekUnited.com“Bullets” is the story that resulted. It’s a pretty basic story, but it has a certain catharsis to it. I don’t remember if I won this contest or not, but I suppose it doesn’t matter. Those contests were more of an excuse for us to share our creativity and talk about writing anyway.

Sigh. I miss those days.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story.



© 2014 by Tyler F.M. Edwards.

For three days and three nights, the enemy ravaged the city. They came in their great airships, raining death from above. The people of the city tried to put up a defense, but against the aerial assaults, there was little they could do.

Mary watched as her life was systematically destroyed. The neighborhoods in which she had played as a child burned. Her friends died in blazing conflagrations. She tried to help by working as a medic, but it made no difference. For every person she saved, a dozen died under her care. Their screams of pain would forever haunt her.

On the first night, her home was destroyed. On the second night, her brother, whom she had loved more than life itself, was killed. On the third, she wept bitter tears for all that she had lost. On the third, she swore revenge.

On the dawn of the fourth day, the bombardment finally stopped. Mary and the few other survivors knew this was not a cause for celebration. Now, the enemy would send their army in to occupy the ruins. Their troops were already approaching.

A few used the brief opportunity to escape, but most — Mary among them — stayed, with the intention of making the enemy suffer.

The enemy had superior technology, but that gain had come at a price. They had completely forgotten the ancient ways of power. But some among Mary’s people still remembered. The knowledge had been passed down through Mary’s family for generations, and now, she intended to make use of it.

She took two revolvers and loaded them with six bullets each. These were no ordinary chunks of lead. These had been forged from all her suffering, all her pain, all her tears. These would allow the enemy to feel what they had inflicted upon her.

The sound of marching troops filled the ruins of the city. The enemy fanned out in many small patrols, seeking to stamp out what little resistance remained.

Mary stalked the streets, her medic’s pouch still hanging at her side, a revolver in each hand. Her pulse raced with predatory anticipation. She came upon a patrol of eight enemy soldiers and wasted no time. She raised her gun and fired a quick burst.

Two men fell. One died instantly, but the other howled in pain. This was not the pain of the bullet tearing through his insides. This was a pain much greater. This was the pain of a lost home, the pain of a dead brother, the pain of a ruined life.

Overcoming their surprise, the enemy raised their guns. Mary fired five more bullets. Two hit, and three missed. But even those that missed had an effect. As they passed by the enemy soldiers, the men wailed in horror as they briefly brushed her own sorrow. It slowed them enough for Mary to fire her last four shots, none of which missed.

Distantly, she heard screams echo from other parts of the city. She was not the only one to remember the old ways.

She didn’t know if her people would be able to drive back the enemy army. It seemed unlikely, but in truth, she hardly cared. She just wanted the enemy to suffer as she had.

She reached into a pocket and withdrew twelve more bullets. She would never run out. They had been made from her pain, and her pain was endless.