Category Archives: Defenders of the Wall
Stories about the people who defend the city wall and keep everyone safe from the monsters outside.
~A Day of Firsts~
“Rule 1: No inappropriate touching,” was Lavi’s first words to Edmund on his first day as a bodyguard.
Edmund shifted Leora before she slipped off his back.
“Rule 2: Do not wake her up. Not even if the world is ending. Especially if the world is ending.” Read the rest of this entry
Genre: slice of life, family
Follows after Before the Interview.
“So. First impression?” Leora asked after Edmund left.
Lavi raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re asking this now?”
“It’s good to have a second opinion,” Leora argued.
“And what? If I say he’s not good you’ll fire him? Because I can do that.”
Leora frowned. “That’s mean.”
“What’s wrong with the other candidates? Lavi asked as he settled into his chair.
Leora leaned against his table. “What’s wrong with Edmund?”
“He’s a guy.”
“What if he does this and that to you while you’re sleeping?” Lavi’s fingers rapped the table in growing agitation.
Leora drew back. “He won’t do that.”
“How do you know that?” Lavi shot back.
“He has three younger sisters. Protecting girls is in his blood.”
Lavi’s fingers stilled. “And you know this… how?”
Leora folded her arms and smirked. “Research.”
“… You’re a stalker. My sister is a stalker.”
The smirk fell.
“What? No. I’m not!”
Lavi made a show of rubbing his chin. “Maybe I should be protecting him from you instead.”
Leora spun over the table and starting slapping him. Lavi blocked with his arm.
In the end, they never found out what Lavi thought about Edmund.
Check out Edmund’s first day as a bodyguard in A Day of Firsts.
Growing up, he had always been told that beyond the city wall was an endless wasteland filled with monsters. In reality, there was plenty of fertile soil out there. The only challenge was staying alive long enough to reap the benefits.
The self-preserving side of him was content to stay in the city like everyone else and enjoy the safety provided by the wall, his entrepreneurial side saw the opportunity and found the risk worth taking.
Without any super strength or special abilities, it was hard to convince people that he could survive outside where all the monsters were. But when he camped outside So he designed and created anti-monster weapons to prove he could defend himself.
When that wasn’t enough, he camped outside for a whole week, relying only on his own tools to keep the monsters away. After that, it was a lot easier to convince people to let him go out and carve out his own territory beyond the wall. He even managed to get a few people to join him. Which was great, because he couldn’t stay awake forever to do guard duty.
Two monsters crossed his sensors on the edge of his territory.
He snapped out of his musings and picked up a rifle. Hidden out of sight, he waited for them to draw closer.
The monsters crossed a second invisible line, and the passive defences he buried in ground burst out to stun the monsters. He aimed. Two shots. Two dead monsters.
He scanned the vast land for any other monsters. None popped into view. He switched his rifle for a gun and a harvesting knife and approached the bodies.
No point in wasting perfectly good materials.
Genre: fantasy (part of the Defenders of the Wall verse)
Before we start, this piece has a lot of abbreviations. Here’s what they mean:
S – someone with superhuman strength
P – someone with super powers
DD – Department of Defense
N – a normal person without super strength or powers
~Before the Interview~
By the time Edmund looked down, he had scratched a groove in the chair.
“Nervous?” the girl beside him asked.
The girl looked down at the chair’s new mark.
“Yes,” he admitted.
“Why?” Read the rest of this entry
My response to the prompt exposure.
For many, the city wall marked the boundary of their life. They were born within the wall, lived within the wall, and died within the wall. The only exceptions were the Fighters, the travellers, and the wall builders.
From today onwards, he was one of those exceptions too.
“Get ready boys. We’re heading out.”
The heavy gates opened.
Outside the wall, the ground didn’t end, and the sky stretched forever. The land was so open. Completely different from inside, which was filled with people and buildings. Out here, he could run with his eyes closed and not hit anything.
A heavy hand landed on his shoulder.
“First time outside?” the team leader asked.
“Look all you want. Just keep walking.”
He realised too late that he had been blocking the gate like an idiot.
“Sorry, sir. Walking, sir.”
He ran out to the open world.
At the beginning of every year, Lucy used to sit the whole team down in a circle to discuss their goals for the year. Lucy had already left the team, but that didn’t mean the practice couldn’t continue.
Unfortunately, he remembered too late why he always left everything to Lucy.
“My goal this year is to be a better Fighter,” Thomas said.
“Same,” Vincent said.
“Yeah,” Ezra said.
“Yes,” Eileen said.
Theo hesitated, but the newbie decided to follow his seniors with a, “Me too.”
“Any other goals?” Alan asked.
Oh well. He tried, but he just didn’t share Lucy’s enthusiasm for new year goals.
“Then we’re done. Get up. Time to warm up.”
The mission had been going well until one of the monsters they were fighting tumbled into another monster’s nest. For a few moments, the two clans fought each other, then they noticed the team of humans among them and shifted their attention accordingly.
The team was already tired after spending most of the day tracking and killing more than half of the monsters from their target clan. With the monsters from the new clan joining in the fight, it was like they were starting their mission all over again, except they didn’t get reinforcements.
“Retreat,” Alan said.
They turned and ran. The monsters chased after them. Ezra duplicated himself and left the copies behind as decoys. A handful of monsters turned their attention to his fragments, but the majority still chased after them. The team was too tired to outrun the monsters, so Ezra could only make more and more copies to slow the monsters down.
By the time they returned to the safety behind the city wall, there were dozens of Ezra’s scattered around the wasteland, with more pieces appearing when a copy shattered into fragments instead of dying.
He was not looking forward to the mammoth task of getting all those pieces back again.
My response to the prompt festive.
No one knew how tomorrow’s mission would go, but that wasn’t going to stop them from joining in the annual Water Festival. Not only because they didn’t want to miss out on the fun, but because it was the best way to cool down.
The Water Festival took place every year on the hottest day of the year. On that day, everyone armed themselves with all kinds of tools to throw water at each other. It was a terrible waste of resource and potentially relationship ending, but all concerns melted away once the actual day rolled over and people remembered just how hot the day could get.
He pointed at a water gun on display.
The storekeeper typed out a price. He dropped the requested amount into the money box and picked up the massive weapon.
Tomorrow, he would put his life on the line for the city, but today, it was play time.
My response to the prompt relax.
Genre: fantasy, action
Her heartbeat pounded like a frightened rabbit in her ears. Edmund stood guard at the door and struck down all who tried to enter, but he couldn’t keep it up forever. She needed to help him, and the best way to do that was to sleep.
She breathed in and out, deeper and slower with each attempt. At the same time, she made her body relax, starting from her toes upwards. In her mind, she blocked off all the panic and mayhem outside.
Relax. She had to relax.
She dashed down the stairs she always used to dive into her dreams. The stairs were just a tool, but it had worked before, and it worked now. She reached the gateway in her dreams and leaped through.
Outside, a pair of red eyes opened.
These intruders were not monsters, so she would go easy on them, but none will escape.
She appeared behind them and knocked them all out in one blow.
Her job was done. What happened to them next was up to Lavi.
The piece alludes to a lot of other information that isn’t really talked about here. Hopefully, it still makes sense.
My response to the prompt folly.
~The Ticket Out~
When that man appeared, she was picking up the shattered remains of a jar, the victim of another argument between her neighbours. The man didn’t say much, just helped her pick up the pieces and made sure she was alright. Little by little, his kindness opened her heart, until she shared her secret with him.
“I hate this place.”
He didn’t try to dissuade her.
“Do you want to leave?”
“I’m leaving in a few days. You can come with me. But only if you take this supplement to strengthen your body. Travelling is tough. You won’t always find doctors when you need them.”
He held out a bottle and shook the pills inside.
“I’ll do it.”
Every day, she took one pill. By the time she left with the man, she felt the best she had ever been.
The next time she returned, it was as a mindless monster that destroyed her hometown and everyone in it.
The stories in Defenders of the Wall take place in a setting where most of the land is barren due to monsters prowling around and people hiding from them. But where did the monsters come from? That’s what I decided to explore with the prompt.
Moral of the story? Don’t eat suspicious things from strangers. There are a lot of weird things out there now.