12-Minute Tales – Marcus the Magnificent, Part VIII

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII

And from there Marcus gave-up and accepted his fate; after a few more years at the Academy he was a certified Adventurer. He traveled the continent with various other traveling bands. Despite the fact that Marcus never possessed any special skill or talent, Marcus somehow escaped death’s clutches and stumbled upon fame and fortune while many others, such as Selenious, did not.

Marcus couldn’t quite explain it. No matter how hard he tried he always found himself in the middle of some grand adventure. Once, while stumbling through the woods after inadvertently slaying a dragon that had been terrorizing the land for quite some time, he tripped over a rock. And, of course, there was a shiny little gem that had been pressed beneath the rock. Marcus knew immediately what this meant. He hurried through the woods, trying his best to avoid his fate. Next thing he knew, he was defending a local village from the corpses reanimated by the uncovered gem. And, somehow, Marcus saved the day by tripping over yet another rock which just so happened to have been covering a different colored gem. The “good” gem.

And so on and so forth. Until Marcus came back home to the farming village he hadn’t seen in over two decades.

“Hello? Ma? Pa?” He knocked on the door. He was cold and tired. His face dirty. He had seen many a battle, many a war, and had always come out on top, yet he looked like any other beggar emerging from the gutter.

There was no answer. He peered into the window of the tiny, dirty little hut. It was night, yet there was no light inside. Marcus started to worry. Was he too late? Had they moved away?

“Hello? It’s me, Marcus. Can anyone hear me? It’s your son. I’ve come back.” Suddenly, a dim light started to glow, revealing the edge of a face he couldn’t quite recognize.

“You best be leaving,” the face said. “I’ve got notin’ for ye here. So ya best git!”

“B-but. I used to live here…many years ago. My parents…”

“Wait…I know you…” The face approached the window. “You’re–you’re Marcus, ain’t ya?”

“Yes. Did you know my parents?”

“By the Gods! It’s Marcus! The Hero of the Wastes! The Slayer of the Golden Dragon!”

“Um…”

“Aye, lemme just–come in an’ get outta the cold, sir.”

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