Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sudden Short Story 43

"So what did that guy have," asked Steve, as they left the market stall.
"Some string for my bow.  So did you find anything?"
"Maybe.  There's this guy back at the tavern who might have something."
"The tavern?  Really?"
"Well, he didn't start out there.  He was ranting in the town square, before, but he wasn't getting very far.  I managed to coax him down off of his box, though, but I promised that you'd hear him out."
"So, let me see if I have this straight," said John.  "A giant monster attacked your village."
"Town-upon-the-Lake, yes."
"And you came through the mountains to recruit adventurers and explorers."
"And you want us to slay this giant monster."
"You and whomever else we recruit, yes."
"So, if we survive this, then we're splitting the glory - which is fine, if it's as big as you say - but our only material reward is replacements for our worn-out arms and armor."
"Oh, no, you'll be getting those before challenging the monster."
"Oh.  Well, that's nice and all, and I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of your villagers, but it still doesn't seem worth risking our necks for that - and, if your pitch is anything like that of your fellows, I suspect that we'd be the only ones to show up, anyway.  You've managed to hide from and even escape this strange beast, so perhaps you could find somewhere else to go.  It's not an easy choice, but it's better than the alternative."
"There's nowhere else to go, though.  You see, the beast is nesting.  It has already laid an egg sac, bigger than a house.  Eventually, the eggs will hatch, and these creatures will spread throughout the land.  No place will be safe."
John thought for a moment, then turned to Steve.  "He makes a fair point.  Let's do it."

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