Today was the second session of the VA OT Creative Writing group I’m participating in. There were two prompts today. The first was Affirmations and Gratitudes and the second was “Cliffdiving”. This is what I came up with.
Affirmations and Gratitudes:
- My art work is good
- People read my blog
- People like my art
- I have two pieces on display in an art show right now
- My writing is improving
- I think I’m ready to start publishing
- My art is helping my writing
- My latest work is coming together
- Deadlines are not scaring me at the moment
- I can be productive despite bad days
We’d figured it’d be safe enough to land the dropship Gemini a few miles outside of the town. Granted the planetary locals, the dwarves and the elves both warned us that the troll-settled continent was a dangerous place no matter how close or far away you got to the villages. We’d figured wrong, or rather the officers of the landing team did.
Most of us on the landing team departed with our elven guide, while Chief Tipper, the dropship pilot, opted to remain with the vehicle in case an emergency evacuation was needed.
Soon after we reached a midpoint between where we’d landed and the troll village, we encountered the first troll horde, which looked like they were expecting us. Our elven guide, Bandamadur, recommended heading back the direction we came from and using the dropship to leave quickly. Our intelligence officer, Lt Morrero, recommended going a different route to keep the dropship hidden as long as possible. We should’ve listened to Bandamadur.
Following Morreo’s recommendation, we ran to our left, which took us in a southern direction. It looked to be a good direction until we ended up at the top of a cliff facing over a large lake. Bandamadur, taking the rearmost position of our grouping, put a tree between himself and the horde and hollered, “You better figure out something fast with this troll horde coming our direction. It also sounds like they collected a second troll horde along the way”.
Morrero suggested diving off the cliff. Major Thompson, our science officer for this landing team, suggested that she thought that was even dumber than his earlier suggestion to run away from the ship. Capt Ayulo, the security chief, said “even Morrero can’t be wrong two out of three times”. It figured that the two guys in red uniforms would support each other.
Lt Col Pratchett, the team lead, suggested that with limited options and impending horde rush, the cliff dive was our best option. Sgt Flanagan, the only enlisted on this mission other than the Chief and me, rolled her eyes at Col Pratchett’s suggestion. One by one, team members began cliff diving into the lake below.
Bandamadur, using a tree for cover, began firing arrows into the troll horde to slow them down and buy us time as we each made the jump. Maj Thompson jumped first and safely dropped into the water. Sgt Flanagan suggested following Thompson’s dive technique to safely survive the jump. Ayulo said something about being a dive champion and then he and Morrero took back to back running starts towards the cliff.
Capt Ayulo promptly hit the water surface face first and didn’t move again. Lt Morrero, now being two for two, took too long an angle and was swallowed whole by some large creature from below the lake surface, without ever reaching the surface, bring his count to being wrong three out of three times, an achievement even for him.
LtCol Pratchett dived next and Sgt Flanagan and I watched him safely slip into the lake water below. We turned to Bandamadur and asked if he wanted to take the next jump. He shook his head no, and then pointed upwards to the large tree he was hiding behind. He pulled out grappling hook launcher and shot it into the branches higher than the trolls’ eye level and then immediately began climbing up into the tree.
Sgt Flanagan and I took one more look to the bottom of the cliff and then decided we would be better off following the example of a local and climbed into the tree behind Bandamadur. The three of us quietly waited among the mid-level tree branches as the horde of trolls looked over the cliff into the lake below, yelled something angrily to those below, and left the cliff scouting for a way down.
Once Bandamadur said the coast was clear, we three climbed down from the tree and carefully made our way back to where the drop ship was parked. Chief Tipper, who’d remained behind, agreed we should probably go rescue the cliff diving survivors before heading back to Outpost Sparta on the elven continent.
Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.