[If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting story lines to inspire your writing.]
Really? The prompt is to…go to another site for a prompt? Well, fuck you! I’ll write something random, then!
Dorris was quite sick of marching through neglected dirt paths, endlessly swinging his saber in front of him to clear the overgrown vines. Every day for the last few months did he curse his bad luck, to be sent on a secret mission to reestablish connection with an outpost in the middle of a humid, sticky, and blazing jungle. The damned jungle was filled to the brim with heat aura for so long that local vegetation had long since acclimated to the energy and grown to have fiery aspects, only making the trip more uncomfortable. Dorris was never in any danger by the heat aura—completely ignoring the annoying aura was possible for someone as strong as him—but it meant that he couldn’t bring any small cold-storage formations with him because they’d stop functioning under the pressure. With no such formations, he had no frozen snacks, and boy did that frustrate him.
Zoned out from thinking about eating ice cream for the millionth time since he’d begun his tiring trek, Dorris was unprepared for the flash of light which charged through the underbrush to land on his face. Unhurried, Dorris’ eyes rolled down to see some kind of bug sticking to his face, unsuccessfully trying to inject him with venom using a stinger through his tough skin.
“Blame your overconfidence.” He mumbled, before using two fingers to pick the bug off his cheek to crush it away from his face. If he’d counted correctly, that was the two hundredth hallowed beast that dared attack him. Dorris sighed at the now-dead creature’s stupid instincts which led to a pointless demise. That bug, whatever it was, might have grown to be a powerful hallowed beast and gained a human form had it not killed itself. Dorris thought that same thing of all beasts and people alike which wasted their lives.
Then, something happened to sharpen Dorris’ senses and put him on edge—the air became colder.
Well, the air hadn’t dropped in temperature around Dorris, but he’d walked into a colder area of air, which was strange, because the air could not lose enough energy to cool down that much in the kind of jungle he was in.
A thought suddenly struck Dorris, so he removed his massive backpack from his shoulders to retrieve one of the most essential items to the mission—a map. The map Dorris held was one of only a few copies in existence, as the outpost he was heading to was secretly established for the sake of spying on an enemy country whose borders touched the jungle.
“Ah, yes! Finally!”
After taking a moment to find his position on the map, Dorris realized that he was finally nearing the outpost, which was now only a few hours of walking away!
But Dorris couldn’t wait that long. He was in sore need of a good rest and a meal not made of bland rations. Clutching the map safely in one hand with his trusty saber in the other, Dorris put one foot before the other with no regard for finesse, flooding his limbs with his mighty qi to give him speeds unimaginable to mortals.
Dorris’ qi reserves were large enough to allow him to run at such high speeds for hours at a time, but he dared not to in that jungle. At least, until he realized he was within the outpost’s territory. The jungle wasn’t likely to have enough hallowed beasts at his level to threaten him, but there were always the chance that his barbaric gait would attract unwanted attention.
However, Dorris’ excitement quickly dissipated as he senses picked up an odd sensation that would normally be impossible to find in that jungle—everything grew colder as Dorris made his way closer to the outpost.
The realization hit him like a boulder, because his instincts shouted at him that something was wrong. Dorris came to a halt, steadying himself and storing the valuable map back in his pack. He ordered his thoughts before assessing the situation.
“For a decently cool temperature, it’d certainly be possible to build a formation large enough to cool the outpost’s surroundings, but the temperature has dropped much further than simply ‘cool’. The resources required to keep this hellish jungle this cold…there’s simply no way in the nine Hells that the kingdom would assign enough resources for that. It’s just a ridiculous waste!”
Dorris held his chin with his free hand as he contemplated reasons for the temperature to be so low, but quickly gave up, understanding that it’d be poor use of his time. Dorris firmed his grip on his saber and made his way forward again, but a bit slower and much more vigilant. Anything was possible if a blazing jungle could be frozen…
Dorris’ jaw dropped.
His eyes darted back and forth, double and triple-checking that he was seeing correctly. Dorris even circulated his qi to perform a technique that would clear his mind. If it didn’t break him out of the illusion he thought he was in, the technique would at least allow him to make sure that there was an illusion in place.
Yet, there was none.
Dorris gently lifted a shriveled frost-covered vine, feeling its surface to assure him that it was real. He turned his head, searching his surroundings. As he feared, all the vegetation was the same—freezing.
A tingling sensation surfaced in his stomach, making him uncomfortable. Dorris never really entertained the notion that the jungle had been frozen as he thought it was impossible. But reality disagreed.
Pushing himself to his limit, Dorris flashed through the dirt path, noting that as he neared the outpost, the air only grew colder, and the surroundings were more thoroughly frozen. There was places on the ground that Dorris had trouble running through, as the ice was too thick. He even spotted entire trees fully encased in solid water. Preserved, even.
The bad feeling in his gut only pushed him further, as his loyalty to the kingdom he served demanded that he investigate the situation for the sake of the people he protected. No way could such an earth-shattering phenomenon have occurred and not pose a threat to the kingdom. Dorris needed to find answers.
Finally, the dainty dirt path he’d followed for endless kilometers opened into a large, open space cleared of all trees and filled with various buildings. Dorris’ heart was torn. He expected long before then that guards would have approached him, but since they hadn’t, he imagined that the outpost was short-staffed and that the guards were much closer to the entrance, but…
Not a soul in sight, the outpost lay in ruins, ice encasing everything.