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Author Topic: Homecoming (Ww one-shot)  (Read 758 times)

Offline Snowstep

Homecoming (Ww one-shot)
« on: July 02, 2015, 02:44:48 pm »
Once upon a time, there was a shining city on a hill.  Now, this was no neat city, its' streets and buildings planned along tidy rows, nor was it sprawling chaos.  It was somewhere in the middle, instead.  It was a beacon of warmth, light, and friendship--people from all walks of life came there to settle.  And life was good.  There was a friendly face everywhere you looked, it seemed, and days spent in the library or café among friends... To the folk who lived there, it was far more than a city; it was home.  It was a place where they could be themselves.  And perhaps a place where they could be part of something greater.  Of course, this city had its shadowy corners and its problems, such as occasional attacks by a madman known only as "HF". But the people of this city always banded together to defeat him and save the day.  But everything must change, even if we wish it wouldn't.  That's just the way of things.  A few years ago, things began to change.  The 'old guard', those who'd built this shining city, began to vanish.  Maybe it was that strange force called Life that worked on its own terms.  Nothing could stop it, not a thousand swords (or chainsaws, or sonic screwdrivers, or what-have-you).  Oh, no one blamed them for it.  You couldn't stop that force, same as you couldn't stop the wind from blowing.  But the city slowly began to fade... In time, even they who had stayed were forced to leave their home.

...That brings us to today.

For  a few moments, she sat there beneath the shade of a sprawling tree, her backpack and sheathed sword within easy reach.  The wanderer's dark eyes half-closed as she looked up at the clear sky and let her thoughts drift.  She'd heard rumors lately, whispers of a city near the coast.  Or maybe on an island?  She couldn't help it; she'd had to see if the rumors were true.  She'd settled in some wonderful places and met great people, but nowhere had felt quite the same.  And so, one day, she'd packed up and set off across the Wild Web Wastes.  The journey hadn't been an unpleasant one--if perhaps a little tedious sometimes--aside from the occasional run-in with a jerk or two who thought a lone traveler would be easy pickings.  But now...  The long trip was nearly at an end.  She could feel it in her bones.  The wanderer stood up, then checked that everything was packed away inside her backpack (and that her bedroll and the like were securely tied to it), then slung the heavy bag over both shoulders.  Next, she buckled her sword-belt around her waist, so that her trusty sword's leather-wrapped hilt was close at hand.  Then she adjusted her dark green jacket and set off, whistling an old familiar tune.

It was just after noon by the time she finally managed to clamber to the top of a steep hill--and once she did, she couldn't help but pause.  To say that the view was wonderful would have been an understatement.  The land was spread out like a great patchwork quilt before her.  Long green grass waved in the breeze that ruffled her long dark hair, and red and white flowers nodded amiably to each other.  The ground gradually sloped down until the grass and flowers were replaced with what looked like a narrow strip of pale yellow sand...  And then there was the sea, stretching out to the horizon.  She shaded her eyes with a hand and gazed out into the distance, narrowing her eyes slightly against the glimmer of the sunlight on the water.  It was impossibly blue, bluer than the sky...  She'd heard about it, of course, but this...  Well, seeing so much water all in one place was another thing entirely.  Even from here, she could smell the salt that hung heavy in the air and see the white-crested waves rolling in upon the shore.  If she listened closely, she almost thought she could hear the calls of unfamiliar birds.

That was when she saw it.  The city, right there near the sea.  Almost before she knew it, she was half-walking, half-sliding down the steep hill's other side, until she lost her balance and went tumbling down with a startled high-pitched yelp.  Hitting the bottom knocked the wind out of her, and she laid there for a moment, focusing on getting her breath back.  Then she stood up, brushed herself off and kept going.  Every step brought her closer and closer, and she found her mind filled with thoughts of the city.  Memories of old friends and adventures and jokes and stories told flitted through her mind one after the other.  Memories of wonderful days spent in the library, lost in a book, or hanging out at the café...  Slowly, her thoughts began to drift to ones of settling down again, of a little house all her own with a white picket fence and a garden...  Yeah, and comfy chairs and a great big couch for visitors, and a nice rocking chair by the fire for herself.  She couldn't help but smile at the thought.

But a strange thing happened as she reached the shifting sands and headed toward the city's gates.  The traveler began to wonder. What would it be like?  She was certain it wouldn't be quite like the city had been before...  Would she see familiar faces there? Would old friends have found their way here?  Or would it be mostly new faces?  And... Would she be welcomed with open arms, as she had been when she'd first come to the city so long ago?  It had been years since she'd left, after all.  Would anyone remember her?  She fiddled with the end of her ponytail and told herself that she was just being silly.  Because, after all, she was.  This city... There was something special about it, something special about the people who lived here.

The she reached the great gates, shining like silver in the sunlight.  For a long moment, the wanderer paused before them, peering through the bars into the city beyond.  It was different, as she'd thought.  There was something about the layout that she couldn't quite place.  And it was smaller, there was no denying that.  But...  Here and there, she saw familiar faces as folks walked down the streets, heard laughter and chatter rising into the air and mingling.  Then she took a steadying breath, squared her shoulders, and reached out to push open the gates.  They swung forward of their own accord before she'd so much as touched them, almost like magic.  The wanderer strode forward, only to suddenly pause, dark eyes narrowed thoughtfully.  There was something in the air here, just faint enough to make her wonder and just strong enough to reassure her.  She couldn't quite put her finger on it, exactly, but...  It felt so familiar, just like it had when she'd first stepped through the gates so long ago.  She moved through the city streets slowly, like one in a dream, glancing this way and that as she did so.  It was smaller, quieter, and yet...  As she headed deeper and deeper into the city, all her doubts and fears slowly began to melt away, as if a great weight had been taken from her shoulders.  People called out to her or waved as she passed, and she quickly found herself smiling and waving back.

Eventually, her wanderings took her down a narrow street and toward a small building made of brick.  A soft golden light filled the windows--she caught a glimpse of shelves that were slowly being filled with books and folks bent over desks, some writing and others with their noses buried in stories.  The wanderer stood there for just a moment, overcome with memories.  How many conversations had she held in the library?  How many warm summer days had she spent within its walls, hanging out with friends?  How many times had she ducked into it to take shelter from the rain, only to spend a whole afternoon lost in a rip-roarer of a story or with her mind afire with ideas for stories of her own?  It wasn't the same library, of course, but there was something about it that was so achingly familiar...  She was just about to head up the steps when something made her pause.  ...A voice.  Correction: a very familiar voice.

"Hey, Snow!"

She looked up, glanced around, and blinked as she caught sight of someone rushing toward her.  Her train of thought came to a screeching halt, as if the mental conductor had hit the brakes hard. It took the wanderer a moment, but then a grin made its way onto her face.  This wasn't a memory.  No, it was--  She was abruptly caught in a flying hug that accidentally sent the both of them tumbling head-over-heels and wound up with her landing rather painfully on the pavement.

"Gosh, what a welcome," the former wanderer chuckled, grinning wryly as her old friend kindly helped her up.  As soon as Snow was on her feet, she pulled her old friend into a tight hug.  The next few minutes were filled with laughter, happy tears, lots of hugging, and conversation that was mostly too rapid-fire to be made out by any passerby.  But one remark stood out.

"Man, it's so good to be home...!"

Not a whole lot to say about this one, honestly, except that it was sort of based around actual feelings of coming back to Ww.  Figured it couldn't hurt to write a little something and shake the rust off.  :)

Offline Tom

Re: Homecoming (Ww one-shot)
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 05:38:48 pm »
I really enjoyed it ^^;; I can also really strongly sympathise with a lot of how you feel.. :)
it's great to be back, and amazing to be reading these again after so long. <3

thanks vegas for the avatar, moss for the blinkie & darksight for the signature

Quote from: Darkstar
i actually happen to love a good fruitcake

Offline Scar

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Re: Homecoming (Ww one-shot)
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 11:18:16 am »
This was amazing, Snow! It actually made me cry a bit c':

Your writing is so lovely, it flows so nicely and it just reads so naturally. I really hope you write more!