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Malfunctioned
2010-05-28, 12:08 PM
For my English Language A-Level I had to write a short story for a piece of coursework using an already published piece of writing as a style model. For mine I chose 'Thief of Time' by Sir Terry Pratchett. The thing is, I want to know if it's any good. So without further wait, here is Prophecies by Malfunctioned.

It is said that if you were to follow the pointed mountains south, chase the muddy waters of the largest swamps and hike for about three days through the driest, most implausibly placed desert that will suddenly pop into view you will come across a great forest. If you manage to make it through the forest without alerting any of those particularly nasty wolves then you will appear right back on the north side of the pointed mountains. However, if you just went east from the mountains you would come across a large, for a village anyway, settlement known to its occupants as Hillsville. Hillsville was founded by a group of philosopher-explorers known as The Barnmen and was named by for the large hills around the village by their leader, Sir Reginald ‘Bloody Obvious’ Barns, a man famous in the wider world for his books such as ‘Money May Or May Not Be Evil But It Lets You Buy Things’ and ‘Bad things Happen to Everyone, Though They May Happen To Some People More Often.’ But this was over two hundred years ago and now the city is populated mainly by farmer’s, farmer’s wives, farme’rs children and various animals related to the farming profession along with all the priests and acolytes of Mord, known in the main village as ‘that group of old men who wander around mumbling to themselves in that big building up on the big hill’ and their leader High Priest Deryn, known in the village as ‘the really old one with the big beard who sometimes gets up on that big hill and shouts at everyone’. Needless to say everyone worshipped Mord and held the priests in the highest regard. But this story isn’t about them. Okay, it is about them a bit but the focus of this story is a young farmhand known as Gareth. Gareth Koroan.
Gareth had grown up in this place. Son of a farmer and the daughter of another farmer he decided to take up the family trade. Farming. He had taken on is fathers looks as well, he wasn’t too tall, an inch or two above average really, and he never could really be described as broad or muscular, but something about the way his almost-blonde hair fell across his face and the way he pale green eyes seemed to hold anyone’s attention made him seem much more than he was. This day started like any other, Gareth woke up just as the sun was rising, rubbed some flour on himself to hide most of the dirt that seemed to cake his body, grabbed and put on his rags, gathered the animal feed and walked out to the sheep. After tracking down every last one of his animals he headed back to his farmhouse and started cooking himself breakfast. Just as he was about to sit down to eat he heard a rapid knocking on his door and then the sound of an unlocked door being pushed opened. Gareth stood up a peered over to door and saw the familiar red robes of a Mordian priest “What’s it this time then?” Gareth questioned “Tithes? Missed prayers?”
The priest pushed back his heavy scarlet hood, revealing the astonishingly jet-black hair of Brother Jal. “Fear not simple farmer this is a great honour not an admonishment! High Priest Deryn is requesting your appearance at the temple!”
“Really?”
The priest took out a small scroll “Most definitely, you are Gareth Koroan correct?”
“That I am”
“Son of Steven Koroan?”
“Uh-huh”
“Then yes, it is you who I am looking for, the High Priest requested your attendance at this ceremony specifically”
“Fine, let me gather my things then…..Just wondering, Mord doesn’t accept human sacrifices right?”
“Right, well not anymore in any case.”
“Will it involve any knives?”
“None that I am aware of.”
Gareth heaved a large coat onto his shoulders and turned to the priest. “Lead the way” He said, even though almost every villager knew the route to the template like the back of their hand, except for Stumpy Pete but since he hadn’t seen his hands for little under twenty years you couldn’t really blame him.

The walk to the temple was a lot harder than normal, mainly due to the fact people stopped Jal at least once a minute to ask a question or to request a prayer or to even simply give the traditional Mordian greeting, a tapping of the fist onto the chin. One drunken villagers attempt at this ended up a small brawl and a bloody nose for Jal, luckily this was normal for the priests and he simply stuck a small rag in it and carried on walking. The grand marble pillars and sweeping roofs of the prayer house of the great cities made the Hillsville temple look like a run down shack in comparison, but to a man who had never seen anything else it could easily be a home or the most powerful men in the land. They passed the large wooden doors held open by oversized stone fists at the base both of them and walked through the hall of victories, which is this small settlement showed a group of men standing in a valley, the next painting showed the exact same picture but this time with a few buildings in the background. The hall led to a round chamber many times the size of Gareth’s house back on the farm, at the top of a raised platform in the centre of the room stood an old man, bent double with both age and the weight of his beard, which trailed down to the floor below him and appeared to be in constant danger of tripping him up as he walked toward Gareth and Jal.
“Praise Mord for bringing Him to us this day!” High Priest Deryn cried as he looked up at Gareth,
“So this is the one you requested then?” Asked Jal, apparently not convinced in Deryn’s cognitive abilities.
“Yes, yes most certainly. Have you been through the list of prophecies?”
“Not yet, shall we now? Very well.” Deryn turned towards Gareth and looked him in the eye. “A few years back you protected your herd from a great and powerful beast did you not?”
Gareth suddenly looked a little scared. “I don’t recall ever fighting any beasts.”
“Are you sure? You have never fought to protect your flock of sheep?”
“Well there was that bull a couple of summers ago.”
“Was this bull burning with the flames of demons?”
“No, just a normal bull.”
“Perhaps he was bewitched by some evil sorcerer!”
“He wasn’t. It was just a regular bull, probably spooked by some children, it attacked my flock so I defended them.”
“Well, it may not be as impressive but one man killed a bull with his bare hands, that must count for the prophecy!”
“Well I didn’t exactly kill it…..”
“Oh?”
“I just kind of……”Gareth trailed off and looked down at his feet. “….Slapped it a little and poked it with the end of my staff. It eventually got bored and walked off.”
As he looked up he saw Jal writing into another scroll, this one with gilded golden edges.
“Fended off….wild beast…..saved lives of many followers. There we go, one prophecy complete!”
“But I don’t think that I……” Gareth’s arguments were soon halted by Jal gripping him by the shoulders and starting to pull off his coat.
“Now, the mark of Mord should be somewhere on your back” Jal insisted as he lifted up Gareth’s shirt to reveal two large scars running down the length of his back. Jal quickly glanced at the symbol of Mord that decorated the walls behind him, two longswords with a pair of eyes hovering above. Deryn also peered over to his back. “There we go, good enough again!”
Gareth started to protest again. “But it looks nothing like it! It’s a pair of lines! Nothing like swords and eyes!”
“It looks a bit like it.”
“No it doesn’t!”
“In the dark maybe, or if you squint a bit.”
“Why would Mord need to squint?!?!”
“Then perhaps you can explain how you have the mark?”
“Well….the bull…it didn’t get bored…..it…kind of…..chased me. A lot. Old Lady Wiggins had to kill it by beating it with a broom.”
“The beast gave you these markings?” Deryn smiled at Jal and turned back towards Gareth. “It must have been an avatar of Mord himself! You are the Chosen One! Touched by Mord and imprinted with his holy symbol!” The old man seemed to dance with joy as he led a disbelieving Gareth and a grinning Jal to another chamber, this time hidden just behind a set of paintings behind raised platform. This new chamber contained a great chair, made of steel and another golden metal that Gareth could not identify. “The prophecy states that properly anointed and realises his true identity he shall become the spirit of Mord himself and the world will truly know that he exists and is just as all powerful as he claims. Now please, take your new seat.” Deryn spoke as if reading the words off of a script, as if he had practised the same speech over and over again until he knew it word for word.
Gareth slowly slid into the throne, it was not cold as the metal should be, but warm as if heated with an inner fire. He adjusted himself and got comfortable as Jal moved over to a table and took a golden goblet from it, he filled the goblet with a thin purple liquid and told Gareth to drink it, he did so and felt the cold, refreshing liquid run down his throat.
“Very nice” He said as he returned the cup to Jal “So what else is there for me to -” Gareth was cut off as the throne swung backwards, depositing him in a pit just behind it. As soon as he recovered from the fall he look around and saw hundreds of skeletons and decaying bodies surrounding him, all of them of men around his own age, and most of them with two long lines on their backs, he look up towards the small square of light he had just fallen into. “In the name of Mord what is this?!?!”
“This is us making sure we are always needed.” Deryn replied before the light disappeared.
Jal looked over to his master as they walked back through the halls. “So why exactly do we do this again?”
“Well think about it. If the chosen one of Mord actually did appear and people knew that he was real, they wouldn’t need anyone there to convince them of that fact, would they? We’d be gone like that!” He clicked his fingers for emphasis.
“Very true sir, very true, speaking of which, I’ve heard of a young man from by the Improbably Desert who recently punched a camel in the face, he got some pretty interesting scars from that fight as well.”
“Lets see if we can bring him in then.”


Thanks for reading and please critique. :smallsmile:

EmeraldPhoenix
2010-06-03, 05:04 PM
Wow, why hasn't anyone posted on this?:smallconfused:

It's really great! I love the style you used. It's funny in all the right places. :smallbiggrin: I especially enjoyed the description at the beginning. Beautiful work.

Malfunctioned
2010-06-06, 02:29 PM
Thanks :smallbiggrin:, I really was hoping that someone would like it. :smallbiggrin:

xelliea
2010-06-07, 05:28 PM
Not bad, well done.:smallsmile:

Zolkabro
2010-06-16, 10:47 AM
This is great. Post it in the Playground Writing Workshop, that should get you more critiques.