Category Archives: Defenders of the Wall

Stories about the people who defend the city wall and keep everyone safe from the monsters outside.

Short Story: Never Ending Race

Genre: slice of life
DD – Department of Defence

 

It was almost a rite of passage for new Fighters to try and uncover the enigma which was Shadow. None of the seniors expected actual success, but it was always funny to watch their juniors’ attempts to outsmart and corner Shadow, DD’s number one Fighter.

The more opportunistic seniors harnessed the curiosity by incorporating Shadow into their training.

“Practice these skills and you could sneak up on Shadow.”

“We’re going to learn some manoeuvres as a squad. When you’re ready, Shadow has agreed to spar with us. Work together so we can have a good fight.”

Shadow, herself, accepted the challenge with good humour, taking the chance to train herself too. It was a never ending race. As the rest of the department improved with each wave of new blood, Shadow rose to the challenge, in turn challenging everyone else to come up with more creative ideas and skilled execution to take her down.

Who was Shadow?

No one knew, but they would keep improving until the day came when they could catch her and ask.

~End~

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Short Story: A Question of Leisure

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side | A Question of Leisure

Genre: slice of life

 

Just because he was recuperating in a new place didn’t mean this girl stopped being curious. When he recovered enough to participate in conversations again, the barrage of questions returned.

“What do you do in your free time, mister?” the girl asked.

“Check my defences,” he said without hesitation.

“I meant hobbies, not work.”

He thought about it. “Check my defences.”

She made a face. “Really?”

“Doesn’t hurt to check them more often. They’re supposed to keep me alive.”

“Didn’t stop that,” she said with a look at his midsection, which a few weeks ago had a gaping hole.

“I would be dead without them so they still did their job.”

“But that’s still work,” she complained.

He shrugged. “Staying alive is a full time job.”

Her lips twisted into a displeased pout, either aimed at him or his situation. He saw that pout a lot, even before he got hurt. There were a lot of things he did that she disagreed with.

He looked up at the ceiling and sighed. Fine. She deserved a little more.

“I like watching the sky,” he said, “Space is precious back home, so there isn’t a lot of empty space. If you look up, you’ll only see tiny patches of sky in between the buildings. One reason I accepted the job was because i thought if worked outside, I could see the sky.”

And what a sky it was.

The girl said nothing. He looked down from the ceiling to find her staring out the window. Before he could say anything, her attention snapped back to him.

“I know some good places. I’ll bring you there when you’re better.”

He wasn’t sure if they had the same idea of what would be considered ‘good places’, but with her ability to go places most people couldn’t, there would surely be some great sights.

“Sure.”

~End~

Short Story: An Unexpected Side

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side

Genre: fantasy
Features characters from my previous stories. You’ll want to read them first.

 

With meticulous precision, she measured each component into the bowl. The only sound she made was the gentle tapping of her spoon against the bowl.

This girl, whom had popped in and out of his life the past couple of years to pour questions on him like a heavy downpour, was unexpectedly calm in her own home.

“I’m the oldest. I have a reputation to keep,” she said when he pointed it out.

“Is that so?” Ideas stirred in his mind.

“I know what you’re thinking. Don’t bother. Everyone already knows,” she said with a calm dignity that was nothing like the mischievous girl he was familiar with.

She grinned, and the mischievous girl was back. “Don’t worry. Most people meet my calm side first, so you’re still special.”

She set the mixing spoon down. He sat up to receive the bowl and tried not to make a face. Even here, medicine tasted terrible.

“Last dose tomorrow, then we’re done,” she said as she packed the bottles into a box.

“Looking forward to it.” He handed her the empty bowl in exchange for some water to wash the taste away.

Drowsiness hit right after he laid back down on the bed, another trait that was shared with medicine back in his home city. Gentle hands pulled the blanket over him as he sank into sleep.

“Get better soon, mister.”

~End~

Short Story: Not a Normal Day

Genre: slice of life, fantasy
Features the team from Mission Gone Wrong.

 

On normal days, Theo arrived to work on time, if not slightly early.

This was not a normal day.

First, he accidentally destroyed his alarm clock instead of just snoozing it. Because of that, he missed his ride and had to dash madly to work.

Then, on the way to work, a building cracked and a part of the roof slid to the footpath. His training kicked in and he twisted around to catch the falling rubble before they injured someone. With the same strength that destroyed his alarm clock, he moved the pieces aside to clear the road.

By then, he was really late, and when he finally reached his squad’s training room, it was to the sight of the rest of the team standing outside. Of all the days to be late, it had to be the day latecomers were actually punished.

“How long do we need to stay outside for?” he asked his seniors.

“We can go in any time. We just don’t want to,” Thomas said.

“Vice-Captain’s having a conniption,” Eileen said.

“Say it as it is. He’s throwing a hissy fit. Captain has to deal with it because he’s the captain but the rest of us are staying out here where it’s safe,” Thomas said.

“What happened?” Theo asked.

“Someone ate his snack stash,” Eileen said.

Theo immediately looked at Thomas. Thomas groaned.

“You too? I didn’t eat Vice-Captain’s food.”

“Then who did?”

“If we knew, we wouldn’t be here,” Thomas grumbled, “Better get comfortable. Vice-Captain doesn’t sound like he’s going to stop for a long time.”

After all that rushing, it didn’t seem fair that this was the day that he hadn’t needed to rush after all, but, well, such was life. He placed his things on the floor where the others had left their belongings and settled in for the wait.

~End~

Short Story: A Change of Pace

Genre: fantasy
Follows after A Pioneer’s Life and A Friend in Need.

 

The land of beyond the wall was the land of monsters, they were brought up to believe. It wasn’t wrong. Monsters did prowl the wasteland outside. What they didn’t teach in school was that there were other cities out there, all fighting against the monsters in their own way.

While he recuperated in the girl’s guestroom, she shared about her own city. Instead of concentrating all their attention on one big city, they expended by planting new, smaller cities nearby, each with their own defence force. The people were different too. Back in his home, only a few had super strength of powers. Here, everyone had their own special power, and were played their part to defend their city.

She also talked about underground cities, of cities built aboveground out of reach, of cities that travelled the wasteland as nomads. Some had special tools that were like poison to the monsters, some had their own tamed monsters that could fight against the wild monsters, all had some unique way to protect themselves.

“Does anyone else know about this?” he asked.

“The nomads would know. They go everywhere,” she said, “We’re actually really, really far from each other. I only know because my power is to travel very far very quickly. I’ll show you around when you get better.”

For a long time, he had been anchored to his house and the immediate area around him. He wouldn’t mind a change of pace.

“That sounds great.”

~End~

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side

Short Story: Team Bonding

Genre: slice of life
Inspired by the prompt camaraderie.
DD – Department of Defense

 

They were kneeling in the hallway, in front of a growing crowd, getting lectured by the DD head like naughty children, because their captain wanted a team bonding experience.

“A team who gets in trouble together stays together,” Lucy said, completely unrepentant.

The DD head, a good decade younger than their captain, pinched the bridge of his nose like a weary parent.

“That’s not an excuse to almost burn down the building,” he said.

“To be fair, we thought the foam was just soap bubbles,” Lucy said.

“The label said ‘Caution. Flammable.”

“Oops?” Lucy said with a sheepish shrug.

“As your next team building experience, you will clear all the mess you made. You have two days to clean everything up. Until then, no chilli for you, Lucy,” the DD head said.

“But chilli is life!”

“Then you better get clearing.”

Lucy jumped to her feet. “Come on team. Let’s go go go!”

~End~

Short Story: A Friend in Need

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side

Genre: fantasy
Continues after A Pioneer’s Life.

 

“Mister, wake up! You’re under attack!” He woke to the voice of his most frequent visitor.

He groaned, mind dazed and body heavy from his fevered sleep. The girl unceremoniously pulled off his blanket.

“What happened to you?”

“Go home. It’s not safe here.” He pushed her away but she just grabbed on and pulled him out of bed. They tumbled to the ground in a tangled heap.

“Look who’s talking. Stand up. I’ll bring us both somewhere safe. You’ve been wondering how I get here right? Stand up and you’ll see.”

Somehow, she pulled him to his feet. He leaned heavily on her until she was bent almost double.

“Look, ok? One step.” She dragged them forward. “Two steps.”

His humble house changed abruptly into a completely different building.

“Mum, dad, I brought a friend!”

She wasn’t kidding when she said she ‘walked’, he thought as sleep claimed him once more.

~Continue the story in A Change of Pace~

Short Story: A Pioneer’s Life

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side

Genre: fantasy

 

The land of beyond the wall was the land of monsters, they were brought up to believe. It wasn’t wrong. Monsters did prowl the wasteland outside. What they didn’t teach in school was that the wasteland was also unclaimed land just waiting to be taken.

That was his job as a pioneer.

Pioneers lived out in the wasteland, usually in groups, but there were also oddballs like him who stayed alone.

A pioneer had only two jobs: stay alive and expand their territory. The idea was to make the wasteland safer before sending teams out to build the new city walls, and the city was very willing to make the wasteland safer.

It did get lonely out there, and living constantly on lookout wasn’t the easiest way to live, but the money was good, and he wasn’t completely cut off from human interaction. He touched base with his manager daily, people visited him with supplies fortnightly, and when DD sent teams out on missions they often dropped by as well.

So even if he was hurt now, even as his body started to burn to fight off the infection, someone would come. He had already missed the daily check in. He just needed to survive until help arrive.

This was what all the traps he set was for.

~Continue the story in A Friend in Need~

Short Story: Ambition’s Origin

Genre: fantasy, family
Takes place in the Defenders of the Wall world.
Note: DD is short for Department of Defense

 

When Lavi was eight, he was the class monitor, an older brother, and his house was haunted.

His parents didn’t notice because they were busy with the baby, his sister didn’t notice because she was just a baby, but he did because he was the class monitor and as class monitor he was supposed to notice things.

It started small. A toy on the floor, a fruit rolling off the table, strange smoke in strange places. Then whole couches moved, the crib floated, and a ghost appeared! By then, even their grandparents knew they something weird was going on.

Finally, the mystery was solved. The source of their haunting turned out to be none other than his baby sister.

How lucky. If Liam had powers, he could do anything!

Except… his baby sister only had her powers when she was asleep. Awake, she was just a normal girl. Not that it changed anything. As the older brother, he would have taken care of her anyway, with powers or not.

When his baby sister turned seven, she decided she wanted to be a defender. Liam, who was 15 going on 16, knew what he needed to do.

“What do you want to do after you finish school, Liam?”

“Become the head of DD.”

~End~

 

Short Story: This Girl

Have You Ever Wondered | This Girl | A Pioneer’s Life | A Friend In Need | A Change of Pace | An Unexpected Side

Genre: fantasy, mystery

 

Almost every day for the past three years, this girl appeared out of nowhere to visit him before she disappeared as abruptly as she arrived.

At first, he was alarmed. He stayed alone in a monster-filled wasteland. If a little girl could just waltz through his defences like they didn’t exist, so could they.

Then he figured out that he didn’t actually have a security breach. This girl was just too good at going wherever she wanted.

By then, this girl had grown comfortable with him, to the point that she regularly invited herself into his home to talk enough for both of them. Now his concern turned from his defences to this confusing girl’s safety.

Using his solitude-honed patience, he watched and waited for two years before he discovered her secret.

She literally appeared and disappeared into the air.

The discovery lifted a weight he hadn’t realised he had been carrying with him. Not that it changed his relationship with this chatty girl. He stayed in the wilderness to get away from people. He wouldn’t waste his energy trying to chase her out, and he wouldn’t waste it trying to keep up with her energy.

“Have you ever wondered why salt tastes salty?”

“No.”

~End~

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