Short Story: A Small Distraction

Even the Small Things (start here for context) | For the Small Requests | From a Small Connection | Just a Small Inconvenience | A Small Distraction | A Small Bite

Whumptober 2022 fill No.12: “Mayday, mayday!” | Cave In | Rusty Nail

Whumptober 2022 fill No.21: Coughing Up Blood | “You’re safe now.” | “Take me instead.”

~A Small Distraction~

Adventuring alone came with great risks and rewards. There was no one to back him up if he got into danger, but he also had full control over his journey. And with his experience, he knew how to avoid most traps and unpleasant surprises.

Unlike Mintbreeze’s friend, who was an absolute magnet for them.

He took his eyes off her for one moment. One. To kick away the sandpent trying to take a bite out of her thin scholar ankles. And in that moment, she brushed the cave wall, which activated an array hidden among the cracks on the surface, which shook the mountain until rocks rained like ripe dumplums off a tree.

Alone, he would have dashed out of the weakened tunnel. His constitution was high enough that the rocks would only leave shallow bruises. Easily healed with a mid-tier health potion.

Mintbreeze’s friend spent her days buried in books and specimens. Physical strength wasn’t her forte. That was what he was here for.

He turned his back on the exit and threw himself over her as the world collapsed around them.

After the dust settled, a quiet voice sounded beneath him.

“Are you ok?”

His back felt both numb and crunched, his limbs shook as he carried the weight of the mountain, his hands and feet were crushed under the debris.

“I’ll live,” he grunted.

Slowly, so the rocks didn’t roll into the pocket of space he’d created, he shifted his weight. He freed one hand and reached for his blinkbells.

“Do you know how to use this?” he asked, making sure to keep it out of the scholar’s reach, just in case she accidentally activated it and somehow teleported right into the heart of the volcano.

“Blinkbell. Ring it to teleport to your nearest blinkwell,” she said shakily.

“Good. You go first.”

“Let’s go together.”

“You sure about that? If I disappear first, you’ll be crushed.”

“… See you there.”

She rang the blinkbell and vanished in a ripple of light. He followed soon after.

Fortunately, she was in the right spot, and she hadn’t gotten herself poisoned or attacked in the few seconds she was alone.

And then she attacked him. A full speed headbutt into his chest that knocked the breath out of his lungs, followed by a brutal hug that squeezed the rest of the air out of him. Then she burst into tears.

He shifted uncomfortably as he waited for her to pull herself together, but Mintbreeze’s friend was a dam that just broke, and he was the river downstream that couldn’t do anything but accept the incoming surge.

He rested a hesitant hand on her shoulder. “It’s ok. You’re safe now.”

She cried even harder.

Well, hopefully this would be the lesson that finally taught her to keep hands to herself before her own curiosity got her killed.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

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