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Writing Prompts: Backtracking

A couple of days ago, I was challenged by Matthew from Normal Happenings to a Writing Prompt. Considering how much I write on a day to day basis, I’ve started to call myself a conversational writer. As such, to be challenged to write something completely out of my comfort zone sounded like fun. I thought I’d give this a try, so this article is dedicated to the challenge that was set to me – To write about Backtracking. To write about going back to something after a sustained period of absense. With that in mind, let’s give this a go.

Before we start this, the prompt was pretty interesting. The rules were (paraphrased):

  • Write a post inspired by the prompt
  • Leave a pingback so others can see it (here’s the pingback)
  • Read/Comment on others works

So here we are… And here’s my addition. For a quick bit of background – I don’t have that ability to go back to somewhere I’ve not been for five years. I live not too far from where I grew up, which is shocking. I had a small period of time where I lived in a different city, but that’s about it. With that in mind, that short space of time gave me an idea – and so, this article is a short story.


Image Credit: Pexels

My whole live I have believed in a simple truth; one day, I shall return. Today is that day and no longer do I feel nervous.

To return to somewhere, knowing full well that your return marks the beginning of the end feels hallow. It’s like when you can fondly remember the smell and taste of your mother’s cooking, only to find that instead you’ve been served with a cold, bitter slice of rancid bread and a soup that’s far too watery. You eat it, as it’s all you’ve got, but you’re still yearning for that taste of old – and the unfortunate truth is you’re not going to get that. Not any more.

With a heavy sigh, I push the large iron doors open, take a step in the huge hall and try to look unphased by the sight infront of me. Naturally, that didn’t work, as I see everything has changed and the place I once called home is now as foreign to me as it is to a stranger. Different tapestries adorning the walls; a new set of furniture of an origin I don’t understand and worst of all the smell. No longer do the halls smell like a hearty stew, but rather now a strangely sweet smell – Something I could not get used to.

“Ah, you’re here at last!” A tall man speaks, loudly and clearly, his tone said it all. He was in charge of Mournekeep now; a man who had raised through the ranks quickly. His name was General Julos, a name that bore a lot of weight. If you worked under General Julos, no one would question what you did or why you did it. Whilst the General wasn’t a terrible person, some of the people under his employ certainly were. I certainly didn’t expect Julos to be so accepting to my request to discuss the future of Mournekeep’s trade agreements with The Valepine. Still, I am here on official business, so I had to keep an air of professionalism about me.

“General Julos, I presume? I am Sevent-.”

“Yes, yes, you’re Seventus Allinoy.” The General snapped. He clicked his fingers, loudly and demandingly. “Close the doors.”

The originally calm demeanour of the General had changed. It was at this point, one of his servants must have closed the door behind me, as I briefly caught the well-presented man make his way back to his station. The General then dismissed the servant, who bowed and left through a door to the right of the entrance. I quickly looked around, just to make sure the location of the doors and windows hadn’t changed. Thankfully, they were all where we left them.

The General sat at the end of a large oaken table straight ahead of me. It was obvious that this is where all of the official business of Mournekeep were handled now, as his chair was grossly grandeous on the visual assault department. He huffed loudly

“Seventus, let me make it perfectly clear that you’re not welcome around here any more. However, we have to discuss business and so, here we are.”

“I hardly think that’s fair-”

“We’re not here to discuss your previous crimes, Seventus. We’re here to discuss the future for Mournekeep and The Valepine. Take a seat over here.” The General kicked a seat out. It was at this exact moment that I knew idle chat was over. The beginning of the end was here.

I stepped over to the chair and took in the sights. If the General’s frown said anything, it was that he was a who had man aged far beyond his years. His hair was almost completely grey at the age of 32, with cuts and scars littering his features. His brown eyes spoke of a man who had seen a lot; a man who had attempted to fix so many problems with the world, but was constantly on the backfoot. A man who had been stressed more than he had been happy.

But I wasn’t here to simply take a seat at someones command.

“General, I’m not here to discuss the future of the trade agreement.”

“You’re not?” The General said, laughing a huge belly laugh. “Then pray tell, why are you here Seventus?”

I was here to pull the seat out from under the General, as the iron doors slammed open and my team rushed in to deal with the door to the right.

“I’m here to take back what was rightfully ours.”

I pulled my concealed daggers out and with that, my return marked the beginning of the end.

I’d like to end this article with a quick note – I don’t normally take on blog challenges. I find that it’s rare they inspire me to write anything that may interest people. Indeed, we usually stick to reviews, news or anything within our geek niches – And it works. People come to this website to read about our niches and then sometimes people like to join us, sharing their own knowledge. With this quite aside out there, I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, so thanks for the pingback Matthew! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. For everyone else here, share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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