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Tales of Light and Dark

By Tim Butcher

Romance / Adventure


The sun was right over the meadow, directly casting its rays down onto the grass below it, the trees swayed gently in the breeze, and the critters bounced around, innocently, and without a care or coherence to the way they went about. One of these critters, a bunny, hopped over to a particular spot, and being curious, it put its whiskers on the face of the man lying on the ground, eyes closed, and in a green t-shirt and blue jeans, with his blonde hair resting on his head and grass. After a few moments of the bunny probing the face, the man opened his eyelids, exposing crystal blue eyes, appearing as if he was bewildered; and this is exactly what he was. The man sat up with a start, scaring the bunny away and going back along with the rest of the critters, but the man sat there almost like a statue, hands firmly pressed into the ground, supporting him up as he was turning his head around, looking around the environment that he was in.

… Where is this? The man pondered to himself this question, having satisfied himself with a huge sweep of the area, and now looking at the trees that seemed to surround him and the meadow in an absurd amount. The clouds in the sky lazily went above him, and off out of view, before a rustle could be heard near the man. With this sound, he immediately stood up and readied his fists, the meadow was surrounded by relatively tall shrubbery, so he actually couldn’t see what it was that was making its way through said shrubbery.

“W-Who’s there?!” The man casted his blue eyes back and forth in the general direction the rustling was coming from as it progressively got louder and louder.

Eventually, another man in a grey shirt and blue jeans made his appearance out of the shrubs, almost as though he was a submarine resurfacing from the ocean, and with this, for some reason, the man in the middle of the meadow relaxed from his stance and only looked with suspicion and some guard up.

“…Who are you?” The man in the middle of the meadow asked this question, and the other man smiled.

“Well, I’m Andrew: Your Guide.”

The man in the meadow looked a little complacent as he replied, “Oh, Andrew…” After a few moments, however, the man shook his head slightly and hastily cried out, “Wait, my guide!?”

Andrew nodded his head, “Yep! The one and only!”

The man in the meadow looked with even more suspicion raised for Andrew, and pondered a moment before asking, “What are you my ‘guide’ for…?” The man felt as though this was strikingly familiar to him, though he didn’t yet know why.

“Well, I’m your guide for a lot of things: I can tell you about the biomes around here, I can tell you about the plants, the creatures, the tools you can make out of what’s around here, so on and so forth.”

The man kept his guard up, but now he had turned away to think about what Andrew just said.

Did I decide to go on a nature trip with Jen, and I somehow fell asleep, forgetting about the whole process leading up to that point? Not like it hasn’t happened before but…

The man would have kept thinking, had Andrew not interrupted him, “And, um, usually it’s common courtesy to give the person who gave their name out, yours as well.”

“Oh, sorry, I was drowned in thoughts there that I forgot my manners; I’m Brian. Brian…”

Brian widened his eyes, wondering why he couldn’t remember his last name. What was my last name…?

“Brian! What an excellent name! I believe we have someone by that name as well! Well, it’s just so splendid to have you here now, Brian! We were really in need of help now, but fortunately, almost miraculously, you showed up right then and there!”

Brian then held up his hand to motion Andrew to stop, and even asked him to wait, “Wait… What do you need me help with… Exactly?”

Somehow, something is starting to seem really odd about this.

“Well, you see, we have a bit of an ‘infestation’, and it’s been uh, ‘corrupting’ the area, if you will,” Andrew said the last part almost as if it was a pun, and at this point, Brian started piecing together what was happening now.

Not knowing how I got here… A guide showing up out of nowhere… A nice field of grass and almost an infinite number of trees… His name’s even Andrew!

Brian, realizing he had looked away for a moment and towards the ground, immediately looked back up to Andrew and quietly spoke, “So… What’s my first objective as of now?”

Andrew frowned slightly, “That’s odd… Didn’t think you’d word it like that. Well, you just have to build a house for the night for now.”

Brian’s eyes widened, and rashly asked, “So this is Terraria, then!?”

Andrew titled his head sideways slightly, “What’s that?”

Brian almost turned his mouth inside out from the force of shutting it closed and making something akin to a sour face from the wince he had in that moment, Okay… maybe it was a bit sudden to jump to that conclusion… We could be making a makeshift base of operations is what he meant.

“Erm, never mind that… So I just need to build a house right? Will you help me out?”

Andrew shook his head, and turned over his backpack, pulling an empty one out of it and handing it over to Brian, at which, Andrew spoke, “Well, I’m not going to really help you directly, since I don’t have the strength for it, so I’m kind of hoping you do. If you look in the backpack, you should have an axe somewhere in there.”

Brian briefly had the thought that this could be his “inventory” and quickly opened it, only to see an orange axe, what’s more, it was only the metal that was orange; the rest was wooden. He frowned momentarily, but shook his head of such childish thoughts as “this is terraria”. After all, it had been years since he played the game.

Grabbing the axe from the backpack, Brian immediately felt how light it was, which took him slightly by surprise, and decided to ask Andrew what was okay and not okay.

“Well, you’re the guy with the axe, so I can’t really say that I should be telling you what you can or can’t do. But I do suggest we make the house here, so maybe by cutting these trees around us, while getting these shrubs out of the way, we can kill two birds with one stone with that, how about it?”

Well, this is one very friendly guide, that’s for sure.

“Sure, let’s get to it then.”

Brian immediately went to work hacking away the shrubs, which all disappeared relatively easy, then he went on to knock out the trees lining around the meadow.

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