The writers group I belong to does writing exercises sometimes. I did one that ended up being a bit of backstory on Jerok. I figured I would share!
The first sentence was the prompt. I decided to leave it in here:
He’d never noticed a door there before.
“What’s over there?” Jared pointed across the street from the smithy at the nearly invisible doorway shrouded in shadows. Shadows that clung to the side of the building in defiance of the almost-noon sun beating down on the streets of Trior.
“Can’t say as I know, Mr. Hearthnet. Don’t reckon I ever paid it much attention.” The blacksmith barely looked up from his work.
Jared pondered the strange building across the road for a few more minutes before turning back. He’d brought his whole family to the city this time. Maia, his wife, had gone ahead with their younger son, Raylin. She was picking up some spices and fabric. That left their twelve year old son Jerok to wait with him while the blacksmith repaired the blade on their plow.
“Jerok, get away from there.” His son had wandered toward the back of the smithy and kept reaching for the silver and gold wire lying on the workbench. His son jerked his hand back, then shuffled out of the smithy toward the road.
Jared tousled the hair on the boy’s head, then turned back to the blacksmith. “I need a new hunting knife. Not one of those cheap things they sell from the carts. It needs to be balanced properly with enough heft to throw. Maybe a barb on the tip.”
The large man nodded. “I got a few knives.” He put the hammer down and led the way toward the back wall. “Nothing barbed, but I reckon I could make you one if you really want it. Be ready in a few days.”
“No, let me see what you have. I’ll take something with me today.” Jared followed and looked over several different styles before finally choosing one. “How much longer on the plow?”
“Ready in a few minutes. Say, isn’t that your boy ‘cross the way there?”
He turned to look, almost afraid to see what trouble his son was getting into now. A chill coursed through him. Jerok had crossed the street and was reaching for the handle on the door he’d noticed earlier. The darkness under the awning seemed to wrap itself around the boy, pulling him in until he nearly vanished.
“Jerok! Get over here.” His son didn’t even flinch. He took a few steps into the road. Something about that doorway made his skin crawl. He broke into a run.
Young fingers grasped at the brass doorknob. Jared’s arm came up reflexively as a blinding, red light burst from the door. Seconds later his hand connected with the wood, slamming it shut.
His son lay on the ground, not moving. Jared dropped to his knees and shook the boy. “Jerok. Wake up. Are you all right? Jerok.” He didn’t respond. He pulled his son’s eyelid open with his thumb and choked. His entire eyeball glowed red, flickering as if a flame burned behind it. He wrapped his arms around Jerok and pulled him close.
“Dad?” The weak sound of Jerok’s voice was still music to Jared’s ears. “What happened? How did I get over here? What’s going on?” Jared released his grip enough to look him over. His eyes had returned to normal. Maybe he’d imagined it. It must have just been a reflection off of whatever light was coming from the door. He looked up.
“Nothing, son.” Shadows clung to the blank wall like cobwebs. “You must have hit your head on something.”
There was no sign of a door.