This isn’t short fiction as much as it is the first chapter of a story which takes place in a world I’m literally building. I love playing Minecraft on my iPad, and have often wondered what the story is behind all the places I build. While the setting is based on one particular world I’ve made in Minecaft, and even some aspects of the game enter the tale 1, don’t expect any creepers to make appearances. In The Valleys, the evening is ruled by much different creatures.
“Hey. Hey son. You’d better get up. The Sun’s heading down and the evening is coming on.”
Jeremy opened his eyes and discovered he was lying underneath a tree. His head was propped comfortably on a root, while his body was stretched out on a blanket of lush grass.
“Are you well lad?”
Jeremy sat up and located the source of the voice, a kindly looking gentleman dressed in colorful clothes. He appeared to be pushing a wagon of some sort.
“I’m fine. I just…” Jeremy paused. The truth was, he didn’t remember lying down underneath this tree. Nor did he know where he was. In fact, other than his name, he didn’t remember much at all. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”
The kindly man offered a hand to Jeremy and helped him to his feet. “Well now,” he said, “I’m sure we can figure that out together. My name’s Walter, a Trader, and your’s is?”
“Well, Jeremy, we best be getting on. It’s several miles to Water Gap and the Sun’s going down, if you get my meaning. This part of the Boulevard is safe at night, they say, but I don’t like to take chances. Where were you heading, Jeremy?”
“I… don’t know.” Jeremy shook his head, “I don’t even know where ‘here’ is.” He briefly surveyed his surroundings and found himself standing alongside a wide road. Walter’s cart was pointed away from the Sun, clearly beginning it’s evening descent. “The cart’s pointed East,” Jeremy thought, “Why do I know that?” The road travelled up some hills in the distance and disappeared down the other side. The road travelled in similar manner in the opposite direction, though the trees grew noticeably thicker in that direction. The Western road quickly disappeared into thick vegetation.
Walter cocked his head in curiosity. “Really now. Well, that’s odd and make no mistake. I’m on my way down the Boulevard selling my wares. I was in Waypoint this morning, and hope to make it to Water Gap before the evening comes on. Though, personally, I’m from beyond the Boulevard. Out in the Western Valleys along the shore. We don’t go out in the evening at all, not like folk in these parts. Night’s best left to them as are meant for it, if you get my meaning.”
“I don’t. I really don’t. None of this sounds very familiar, to be honest.”
Water pursed his lips in concentration. “I wonder what might have caused that. It’s a watermelon and make no mistake.” Walter placed his hands upon Jeremy’s shoulders, “ Well, Jeremy, I guess you’ll just have to come with me. You don’t want to be out here in evening, and four legs make the cart roll faster than two. If you get my meaning.”
Despite his confusion, Jeremy actually managed a slight smile. “I do, and those hills don’t look like they were meant to be tackled alone. I’d be grateful for company as well. At least, until I remember how I came to be here.”
“Well come on around, lad, and let’s be off. Water Gap has one of the finest healers in the Valleys, perhaps she might help you get back your missing moments.” Jeremy began to walk around the cart towards a second pull-handle when Walter pointed back to where he was standing, “Here now, what’s that.” Jeremy followed to where Walter was pointing and discovered a small sheet of paper, folded over. He recovered the object and gently opened it. On the inside were written just two sentences,
Welcome to The Valleys.
Be inside before night falls.
He didn’t know how, but he knew the handwriting was his own.
- Such as not going out at night. ↩