A little background. In a Facebook group called The Dragon’s Rocketship, Rick Rossing proposed a Bad Writing Contest. The following is an entry into that contest, but I didn’t write it.
This story is from Michael Bondurant, who actually writes fairly well when he’s not trying to be bad. Since he doesn’t have a blog page, he is willing to let me post it here.
Maintenance: A Love Story
It was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining brilliant without a cloud in sight, spring was fully sprung and the famed blue bonnets of the country’s namesake were thick in blossom, their scent hanging heavy on the breeze.
The Princess Helen looked around at all the dead bandits. Two were missing heads, one was down an arm and the other four had simply perished from multiple, violent stabbings. The lot of them were felled by her hand. She smirked prettily to cover her thrill. That old witch had been right after all, find the sword and find freedom. It was a wonder someone had tossed the thing into a lake. Ungrateful, that’s what people were..
The blade was enchanted, the witch had said. It possessed the soul of a long-dead warrior, and a fearsome one at that. She even said the thing could talk, but Helen hadn’t heard it yet. She no longer had any doubt about the sword’s magic though, not after the way it had jumped to life in her hand at the first sign of danger. She’d barely had to do anything on her own. Nothing more complicated than not falling over.
Helen looked down to admire her weapon and grimaced. Oh yuck! It was covered in bandit blood! She’d have to see to that before something rusted. She skipped off to the side of the road and perched her pert bottom on a boulder not short in sittable qualities. She jabbed the tip in the dirt, took a moment to figure out how to approach the job, then started to wipe away the sticky darkness smeared along the length with a gathered up bit of her skirts. It was all she had, and worth ruining a garment.
This sword happened to be the answer to all her problems.
Princess Helen no longer wanted to be a princess. None of it excited her, from the etiquette classes to the public appearances and the unwanted attention from not-so-charming princes always asking to have their princely parts inappropriately inspected. The scandalous womps. Unfortunately none of her princess skills were particularly useful in anything other than being a princess. They were especially useless in running away from home and living as a vagabondess.
Someone interrupted her ranting daydream with a pointed cough.
Princess Helen looked around, warily. All the dead bodies were still dead. Nobody else seemed to be around either.
Ahem. Why are you stopping?
Why, the mystery voice came from right inside her head! Could it be her blade?
“Are you my sword? Why am I stopping what?” She asked aloud, unsure if just thinking the words would be enough, though it felt silly to talk alone.
No. I’m THE Sword. The one and only Tall, Dark Sword of Great Deeds. You are My human. I killed those bandits for you, so why have you stopped with My maintenance?
“I’m so sorry, Tall, Dark Sword of Great Deeds. It was just a shock to hear you speak. Do you have a shorter name or am I to refer to you as the Tall, Dark Sword of Great Deeds every time?”
You may call Me the Great Sword if your inferior, fleshy lips tire overly from so many syllables. But if you’re going to keep talking at Me, at least finish Me off.
The princess Helen blushed fiercely, then nodded, unsure if the blade could see her doing so. “I–.. I’ve never cleaned a sword before..”, she confessed, then started wiping the stickiness away once more. Blood is harder to clean than you might think.
The sword started to glow with a soft, white light.
Slower. You’ll clean Me better that way. And pull me into your lap.
A pushy weapon, but the princess truly was thankful and really didn’t know the first thing about what she was doing, so she did as she was told.
No, no. Start at the base and push it all forward. Firmly! But slow, too.. repeat the motions..
Princess Helen grasped the sword’s blade with skirts in her hand, firmly as commanded but not so tightly as to cut herself, and pushed all the blood down the blade. As she worked, the magical sword’s soft glow grew brighter by the moment. More solid, more intense.
“What was that? Are you okay?” The noise had been masculine, and had startled the princess.
Nothing. Pay no mind. Clean your Great Sword, pupil. Clean Me real good.
There was something familiar in the weapon’s heady tone. Something startling, distant.
Forward, to the tip. Get the tip. You missed some there.
The Princess Helen eyed the sword more skeptically now. “Who did you say you were before you became a sword again?”
At that moment, the blade’s building glow came to a culmination. It gave the briefest flash, a few throbbing pulses, then faded away. The voice, when it came, sounded more used up than it had before.
I didn’t. I was a prince. The finest, most handsome prince. I must say, you know how to us–..
The sword’s voice cut off from inside Princess Helen’s head as she thrust it back into the magical sheath she’d found it in.
She picked herself up off the boulder, brushed the dirt from her bottom, and marched off down the road with the beginnings of a petulant storm trailing her.
“I’m going to need a deeper lake.”