Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not-so-Final Fantasy

This is a snippet from a fantasy story I started back in college; it's about people hunting magical artifacts. I was reading lots of Terry Pratchett at the time. Can you tell?

Wilkes was the type of man who would benefit greatly from the invention of computers. Saying his desk was a sea of papers would be incorrect. His entire office, his entire wing of the building was a testament to slaughtered trees. At first, Andrew didn’t notice him, didn’t realize there was anyone in the room until unkempt hair poked out of a few stacks of paper that began higher than the others.

“Applying or quitting?” The most irritated voice Andrew had ever encountered, ever asked.

“Uh, applying,” he replied. He kept peering about. Aside from the papers, there really didn’t seem to be much in the room. Forms, notes, and memos swarmed over everything. Even the two chairs were almost unrecognizable, long ago covered in white. One thing did catch his eye, however—something canvas-wrapped, sitting in one corner, mercifully left alone by the paper sea. It wasn’t very big, and the canvas made it impossible to identify, but it wasn’t paper, that was for sure—

Hey.”

Andrew twitched, eyes flicking back to the desk. He could see more of Wilkes, now. The man was peering over his papers towards him, a pair of thin, yellow glasses doing nothing to hide the utterly bothered look in his eyes.

“Sorry?”

“Applying for what?” There was a perpetual tapping coming from somewhere behind all those stacks on the desk, one that sounded just like Andrew imagined an impatient man’s finger endlessly tapping on a desk would.

“I, uh—“ He looked helplessly towards Mina, who rolled her eyes. No assistance there.

Wilkes sighed and rose from his chair, punctuating his list with gestures of his pen. “Accounting, Diplomacy, Labor, Research, Hunting—“

“Hunting,” Mina seethed, smacking the artifact they'd found down on the desk. A few errant clumps of dirt came off and bumped against the bottoms of the chest-high stacks. Wilkes glared at her for a moment, then picked up the stone.

“And he found this?” He asked, giving Andrew a long, disapproving look.

“More or le—“ Mina’s elbow jabbed Andrew in the ribs astonishingly hard. “—yes, of course I did.” He waited for Wilkes’ eyes to go back to the artifact, then clutched at his side and looked, wide-eyed and unhappy, at the hooded girl. She scowled, unapologetic.

1 comment:

William said...

Very Prachett-esque. Lots of character showing, increases interest in the story. Well done.