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​The Sorceress, the Knight, and the Duck Stew

by Spearmint


“So, now’s the part where I kill you.” The sorceress raised her arms in preparation for a lightning spell.

The knight yelped. “Hold up! Wait, wait, wait. You’re a villain, aren’t you?”

“Duh,” the sorceress said impatiently.

“So,” the knight said, “now is actually the part where you give a long monologue talking about how villainous you are and exactly how you plan to take over the world, giving me time to find the keys to this tower and escape. At least, that’s what all the stories tell me.”

The villainess snorted and stomped her foot in outrage. “Stupid books and movies! Do they really think any self-respecting evil person would be that foolish? You know, we evildoers read and watch tv too.”

The knight brightened. “Oh, really? What’s your favorite show? Mine is Shining Armor: A Tale of Modern Knights.”

“Hmm. I’m not really a fan of Shining Armor’s plot, but I have to say, the acting is decent...” Suddenly she stamped her foot again. “Oh, I see what you’re doing. ‘Distract the evil sorceress by talking about tv shows while crafting a nefarious plan to escape.’ That’s gotta be the oldest trick in the book.” She crossed her arms.

“Excuse me? Nefarious? You’re the nefarious one!” The knight pointed an accusing finger at the sorceress.

“Ah, you’re quite right.” The villainess raised her arms again. “Enough chit chat. Now’s the part where I incinerate you and take over the world! Mwah hah ha!”

“Wait, wait!” the knight cried desperately.

The sorceress ignored him and continued casting the spell. As she muttered arcane words, the sky around the tower darkened and flickers of lightning appeared. The villainess glanced at the knight, hoping to see him trembling in terror. To her utter shock, however, the knight just started... laughing?

It started out as a giggle, but quickly turned into a whole-hearted, stomach-clutching, rolling-around-on-the-floor kind of laugh. Surprised, the sorceress faltered in her spell-casting and the lightning dissipated.

With more than a little annoyance, she looked down at the knight. “What are you laughing for?”

The knight gasped for air, choking on his own laughter. When his face started to grow red, the sorceress became concerned. “Hey, no fair! You can’t die yet; I’m the one who’s supposed to kill you! Stop laughing this instant!”

The knight just laughed harder, turning purple now. He coughed and struggled to take a breath. Frowning, the sorceress muttered a few words and the knight found himself able to breathe again. He sat there wheezing, recovering from his intense giggling fit.

“Oh, thank you. I thought I was gonna die!”

The sorceress shrugged. “Well, I couldn’t have your laughter kill you before I did. Anyways, what was so funny?”

Apparently just thinking about it was enough to make the knight start giggling again. He controlled himself this time, though, and said, “When you started casting the spell, I suddenly thought about old Mr. Mustard.” The knight chuckled. “I was imagining the look on his face if he could see us now, and I could even hear his voice— ‘Now you two young’uns stop your squabbling!’ And he would scowl, which always made him look like an angry duck, remember?”

The sorceress’s lips twitched and— against all her best efforts— she cracked a small smile, as ephemeral as the lightning. Still, the knight beamed. “See? You haven’t changed so much since you decided to become evil. You still have a sense of humor.”

She immediately rearranged her face into a frown. “Hmph. Well, even evil people can laugh, you know.”

The knight shook his head. “I think they cackle instead.”

The sorceress shrugged. “Maybe. Well, now I’m feeling kind of bad about it, but I really do have to kill you.”

“Wait a second. You could have just let me choke to death on my own laughter. Why didn’t you?”

“Because I wanted to do it myself, of course!”

“Hmm.” The knight didn’t seem convinced. “All right then. *Why* do you have to kill me? You just said you feel bad about it.”

“Well, uh, because I’m evil. And... that’s what evil people do, right? Attack knights and do-gooders?”

The knight tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Perhaps... but that’s what other people do. What do *you* want to do?”

The sorceress stared at him for a minute. “Well...” She cleared her throat. “I- I guess... it’s been a while since anyone asked me that.”

“All right then. I’m asking you now. What do you want to do?”

“Um...” Suddenly the sorceress’s stomach grumbled, and she blushed. “It seems that evil spellcasting makes me quite hungry...”

The knight smiled good-naturedly. “Then it’s perfect that there’s a restaurant not too far from this tower! And they have a cook that makes the absolute best duck stew. Like, seriously— it’s just mmm.” He closed his eyes as if imagining the stew, and the sorceress stifled a laugh. The knight peeked an eye open and said, “Go on, don’t stop yourself from laughing.” He grinned. “I already know I’m an incredibly funny person. Not to mention athletic, intelligent—”

“—and none too humble,” the sorceress finished, eyebrows raised.

The knight shrugged. “Whaddya mean? I’m just that perfect.”

The sorceress snorted and grabbed his wrist. “Sure... But anyways, come on, my knight in rusted armor. Let’s go eat!”

“Hey! Rusted?” the knight protested as the sorceress unlocked the door and dragged him away. “Ah- ah wait up! The way you’re yanking my arm, it’s like you’re gonna kill me without even meaning to!”

As they climbed down the stairs, the sorceress chuckled and replied, “Consider it payback for ruining my evil plans.”

The knight pouted. “Well, you’re not still planning on killing me, are you?”

The sorceress smirked. “Only if you get too annoying.”

“Heh... that was a joke... right?”

“...I’m starving. What was that duck stew you were talking about?”


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11 Reviews


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Sun May 23, 2021 11:28 pm
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Poetry Misfit wrote a review...



Hey there, I just wanted to share a few thoughts.

I love how your story jumps straight into the scene at hand, which helps solidify the characters. I'm definitely getting Shrek vibes from your story with the humor and satire you integrate. The dialogue between the knight and the sorceress is also very entertaining and your dialogue flows very well.
"Still, the knight beamed. 'See? You haven’t changed so much since you decided to become evil. You still have a sense of humor.'" (This line shows there is a history between the characters, which I really like and you executed it in a way that wasn't superfluous, but just enough to be intriguing). I would love to know more about her story and his (in case you ever decide to expand this story :)).
I really enjoyed it. Great job!

Poetry Misfit




Spearmint says...


Thank you so much!! =DDD
This line shows there is a history between the characters, which I really like and you executed it in a way that wasn't superfluous, but just enough to be intriguing

Ahh yay! The way you wrote that makes my writing seem so thoughtful XD I'm super glad you enjoyed that part!! ^-^
Thank you again; have a wonderful day/night!! <333





You're welcome. Have a wonderful day/night too :)



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Mon May 17, 2021 4:13 pm
Nicole136 says...



Ooh wow that was good.
And funny. I love it!




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Thu May 13, 2021 1:43 pm
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This was really cute!! It had very good pacing, and it was very creative!! You're great at comedy writing .




Spearmint says...


Ah thank you; it makes me so happy you said that!! ^-^ Have a great day/night!!



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Thu May 13, 2021 1:35 pm
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legendarycomputerpoetry wrote a review...



Hello!

I love this! So self-aware and the story does not take itself too seriously. This reminds me of Undertale (pacifist route, of course), it has the same friendliness energy. I hope that the sorceress and the knight become very good friends after they share the meal of duck stew together. I like the vocabulary you utilized as well - it makes the actions of the characters clear.

My only critique is that, when writing, one does not always have to tag what each character is saying. Most of the time, that is a stylistic approach and it works here! It is just something to think about if you ever decided to continue this story (which I would love to see!).

Good work!

LCP ✻




Spearmint says...


Hi LCP!!
Ooh "friendliness energy" is such an awesome description!! =D And neat, I didn't even realize I was tagging so much XD Thanks for pointing it out, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night!!



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Thu May 13, 2021 12:27 pm
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Plume says...



Aaah!! This was so cute!! I love this story. So well written, such a new plot, characters that were lively despite it being a short story... gah this was so well done!




Spearmint says...


Aww thank you so much, Plume!!! ^-^ It means a lot to me, especially coming from you, such a talented poet and writer!! =DD



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Thu May 13, 2021 9:02 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi Spearmint,

Mailice here with a quick review! :D

You wrote a wonderful, funny and endearing story. It was worth reading from beginning to end and had a very humorous and witty undertone. I liked reading it a lot.

Some points that stood out to me while reading:

It started out as a giggle, but quickly turned into a whole-hearted, stomach-clutching, rolling-around-on-the-floor kind of laugh.


That's a great description you've managed here. The idea of inserting some kind of intensification into the words to show the laughter was a very effective way of writing.

The knight gasped for air, choking on his own laughter. When his face started to grow red, the sorceress became concerned. "Hey, no fair! You can't die yet; I'm the one who's supposed to kill you! Stop laughing this instant!"


That the sorceress managed to say that with a straight face amazes me :D I would have burst out laughing myself, because I'm always bursting out laughing when someone else is laughing near me.

she cracked a small smile, as ephemeral as the lightning.


This is also a great description you managed to pull off.

I like the characters. You've portrayed them as serious yet funny. You can tell the knight and the sorceress apart and I like how they get more and more distracted from the actual plan during the conversation.
I also really like how you try to insert synonyms to not always describe the sorceress like that, but also to portray her differently. In general, I think the whole dialogue could be compressed into a few words, but by always paraphrasing it, a new kind of humour develops. You put a lot of effort into bringing the humour to the fore.

I also think it's interesting and well chosen that you combine a typical fairy tale motif with modernity, and it also feels really good to read. It's not some kind of anachronism for me, but it feels comprehensible.

One point I think could have been added would be the connection between Mr Mustard, who the knight describes as an "angry duck" and the subsequent "duck stew". At the beginning I really thought they were going to turn him into a duck and make a duck stew out of him. :D Maybe there could be a short joke or something, or at least some kind of comprehensibility between the hunger and the duck.

I think the point of the story was to make the reader smile, which you managed to do. But this one sentence here also made me think a little further:

What do *you* want to do?"


It could be a subliminal message to the reader that they have to find their own way, just like the sorceress and the knight did at the end of the story.

Grammatically I can't criticise anything, I didn't find anything that seemed odd or incorrect. You demonstrated a fluid writing style and I also liked the structure you put in with the paragraphs.

In summary, it was a really great short story with a funny ending.

Have fun writing it!

Mailice.




Spearmint says...


Thanks for the review, Mailice!! ^-^
It's not some kind of anachronism for me, but it feels comprehensible.

Awesome!! Yeah, I was a bit worried that the fantasy/modern combo might be a little jarring or not make sense, but I'm glad it worked out all right! :D
At the beginning I really thought they were going to turn him into a duck and make a duck stew out of him. :D

Oh my gosh XDD That would be a truly evil plan :P
Truthfully, the duck stew part was because it was the first food item that popped into my head haha but I really like your suggestion about having a short joke to connect the hunger and the duck!

Thank you again for the review; it's incredible how you always manage to make writers feel good about their writing while still providing helpful feedback!! Stay awesome and I hope you have a fantastic day/night!! =DDD



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Thu May 13, 2021 1:00 am
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Nicole136 says...



Ooh wow that was good.
And funny. I love it!




Spearmint says...


Yay thanks! :DD




Stay gold, Ponyboy.
— S.E. Hinton