, 22 tweets, 18 min read Read on Twitter
Lakeside Gate: 0/20
Welcome to another #20TweetTales, where I try to take a really cool piece of art as inspiration and tell a story in 20 tweets. Today's is inspired by Sarper Baran's piece Portal Forest.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction #Thread #StoryThread
Lakeside Gate: 1/20
Bow in hand, Dav and his brother Shen tracked the deer trail through the fresh snow. The forest peeled back, revealing a frozen lake. A quarter-league away, a metal circle taller than a man stood on end at the water's edge.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 2/20
Leagues away, a larger arch--the Arch of the Gods--loomed over the mountains. Shen stopped. "We must go back, find another hunt."
Just then, a young doe stepped out of the trees near the ring to approach the waterline.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 3/20
Dav pointed at the deer. "What? No. It's right there."
Shen shook his head. "It is forbidden, we cannot--"
As the deer approached the lake, a crack echoed through the clearing and it bolted. Lightning sparked across the ring.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 4/20
The lightning filled the ring and stablized into a solid disk of blue-white light. Three dark figures stepped out of the light, each carrying strange, glowing rods. With no faces, the figures were living shadows.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 5/20
"Blackwraiths!" Shen gasped. "We have to go, now."
Dav felt his brother's tug on his arm, but didn't move. "What are they?"
Shen stepped back into the treeline. "Dark hunters sent by the gods to kill any who defy them."
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 6/20
One of the dark shapes turned and pointed right at them.
"Great Mother, they've seen us. Go!" Shen whispered.
Entranced by the figures, Dav was frozen. Shen grabbed his shoulder and yanked back, kickstarting him to run.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 7/20
Bolts of white fire streaked past Dav's head, shattering trees into flaming splinters. Wood groaned as the what was left of the great pines toppled behind the sprinting brothers. Shen whipped around and fired an arrow.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 8/20
Dav glanced back to see two of the shadows running after them. "They're gaining, Shen. What do we do?"
Another tree exploded to Dav's left.
Shen slowed just enough to run beside him. "We're going to have to fight."
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 9/20
Dav reaffirmed his grip on his bow. "Ok. I'm ready."
"Remember, cover, breath and release. Don't rush or you'll miss," Shen huffed.
Dav nodded. "I'm ready."
As one, the brothers drew arrows and ducked behind the nearest trees.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 10/20
Dav notched his bow and took a deep breath. "Here I go," he whispered. Dav leaned out from the tree's safety and sighted in on one of the running Blackwraiths. He let his breath out through pursed lips and released.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 11/20
The arrow flew fast and true, striking the shadow in the shoulder. Dav reaches for another arrow when something heavy slammed into the side of his head. His face bounced off the tree and the cold snow rose up to meet him.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 12/20
Dav tried to blink away the cloud of pain that throbbed through his skull. Strong hands grabbed him and turned him onto his back. When he finally opened his eyes, the hot end of the glowing rod was inches from his nose.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 13/20
Behind the weapon, Dav saw the the glossy black surface of the faceless shadow. "Nlath ca, no sha kor venath?" The Blackwraith's voice echoed.
Dav dared not struggle, lest his face end up like one of those trees.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 14/20
With its free arm, the figure touched the side of its head. This time, it spoke in the common tongue. "Now, who are you and why are you in the Empress's reserve?"
Dav shook his head. "We're from the Sen-Treh tribe, hunting."
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 15/20
"From the Village Meleth I know we're not supposed to approach the Arch of the Gods," Dav continued, "we were only trying to hunt for the village."
The Blackwraith laughed and tapped his head again. "Hunter 2 to base."
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 16/20
Two more trees exploded in the distance, then the forest fell silent. There was no more movement, save the shadow on top of Dav. That meant Shen was dead. A pit formed in Dav's stomach and tears welled in his eyes.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 17/20
The shadow spoke again. "Yeah, we have a few squatters left from the settling, we'll need a purge team."
Dav blinked and searing heat blasted across his face. When he looked again, there was a hole in the Blackwraith's chest.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 18/20
Shen yanked the dead figure off of Dav and pulled at the thing's head. Like a mask, the shiny black surface came away, revealing a human face.
Dav climbed to his feet. "They're just like us?"
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 19/20
Shen nodded. "Yep, they're not gods."
A boom fractured the air and the ground shook. The brothers looked toward the Arch of the Gods. It was then that Dav noticed how the it looked like a larger version of the metal ring.
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 20/20
Lightning sparked and the inside of the arch lit up. Sparks of light solidified into a disk, and from it several great, black skyships emerged. Fear flooded Dav as he turned to his brother. "Light, Shen. What have we done?"
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
Lakeside Gate: 21/20
This story was inspired by the fantastic art of Sarper Baran. artstation.com/artwork/qA6AW2
#20TweetTales #Scifi #Fiction
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