The Choice

The Choice

A Story by NoblePariah

Ben ends up in a fantasy world, but finds he can't figure out what's really going on. Thinking of extending into a book, and looking for opinions as to if I should.


The Choice

      Ben cut into his steak, taking his first bite with half-hearted desire. It wasn't that the steak wasn't good, it was more that he wasn't hungry and he didn't really want to be sitting at the dinner table. He looked around at the faces of his parents, engrossed in conversation with his sister about some school play or something. He had no disdain for his family, he was simply bored by them and how average they were. It was a trait they probably couldn't have changed, even if they were willing to try.

      They enjoyed a schedule of normality and punctuality; both were traits he did not share. He was a dreamer, that loved to do well, anything that got him out of the real world: Books, movies, games, anything to keep his mind entertained in between bouts of going to his average high-school, snugly tucked away in the suburbs. He told no one of his reasons for his self imposed distance from others, after all how many people out there secretly dreamed of going on fantastical adventures.

      He continued to forge his way through dinner, bite by bite. He was daydreaming while eating, as his sister's play carried pretty much no interest to him. His family didn't mind, as they were as all equally distanced from his day to day life.

      He finished the food as quickly as manners would allow, before excusing himself to his room. He began walking up the stairs, left hand on the railing, staring up at the top, as if some obstacle would prevent him from reaching it, it was a little game he played with himself. Though, he thought it was childish for a seventeen year-old, it was his head, so who was anyone else to judge.

     Suddenly, something strange, and all to real began to happen: The edges of his vision began to turn white as if he was moving towards a light. He stopped walking, and watched, his concern growing by the moment. The white continued to engulf his vision until he was forced to close his eyes from the sheer nothingness that had blanketed the world. He felt himself begin to fall forward, but he couldn't move to stop it, or to brace himself.

      He hit the ground, but rather than hitting the hard corners of his carpeted stairs, he found himself laying on something soft and forgiving. It smelled of nature and plants. Despite it being Winter, he found himself warm. He opened his eyes to see he was laying on. .  . grass.

     Turning over and propping himself up on his elbows, he surveyed the area. The air left his lungs in a gasp at what he saw. His eyes were met with green hills, a sky that was a deeper shad of blue than anything he had seen, with the smallest tint of green swirled in miraculous patterns. It was fresh, clean, crisp air, that he devoured. Inhaled was the wrong word, this air was perfect.

      He gaped at the picture perfect landscape that he seemed to have been impossibly transported to. What the hell just happened? He thought to himself. He looked to a far away treeline, where lights floated all around the trees, as if millions of lightning bugs were weaving through them in a mad dash. Somehow the lights were bright enough to be seen slightly over the sun's luminescent rays.

      Out of nowhere, the earth started to shake violently. Hundreds of animals became suddenly visible and began fleeing in every direction as hot wind whipped Ben's hair back violently.

      “A dragon!?” he said to himself. He should have been terrified but he wasn't. It was exactly as he had pictured it a thousand times. Its purple scales shone brightly in the light of the sun. Its head left trails of smoke behind as it flew in spirals, gaining altitude, its segmented horns tapered to points behind a long elegant head, giving it a mysterious ferocity. Four legs protruded from its body, moving in unison with its powerful wings to provide more thrust. The tail flapped up and down, seeming to do most of the steering.

      “Magnificent isn't it,” came a deep voice from behind him. “You live here for as long as I have, and those things still seem too majestic to be real. Then you ride one, and you know just how real they are.

Ben jumped to his feet, and whipped around startled. He locked eyes with a big man wearing a trench coat over a light chest-guard of leather armor, a helmet tucked neatly beneath his right arm. The man had short hair, a strong jaw, and eyes that had clearly seen battle.

      “Who... who are you? And what is this place?” Ben asked waving a hand across his field of vision.

      “I am Dain, your inductor. And this...” he paused waving his hand in a similar fashion as Ben had. “Is Kartal.”

      “My what?”

      “Your inductor, I'm the guy who's job it is to answer your questions and to... well induct you into life here.”

      “But, where exactly are we? I've never heard of Kartal.”

      “With good reason, only some can come here, but what I will tell you, is that this place is full of the best kind of magic. Every epic adventure you've heard of, every story, every myth, every legend, everything. . . well. . . adventurous, has all probably happened, or is completely possible here,” boomed the large man with a cheery grin.

      A smile crossed Ben's face. It seemed unbelievable. But who was he to doubt his eyes? Besides, he had no love for his own world, it was simply where he had been born, and where he had been forced to remain. “How did I get here? And how did you know where to find me?” he asked, looking away from the man and back towards the expanse of forest. 

      “Those answers are better left for a little later,” replied Dain. “Remember this world is infinite possibility, so let me ask you; what would you like to do first.

Ben thought for a moment, disregarding his last question. He felt a strange, indescribable trust of the large man. He didn't have to think long before he answered, “ride a dragon.”

      “Wise choice. It just so happens that, that was my first choice as well,” He said, pulling a small horn from an inner coat pocket. He blew it, and within seconds the purple dragon crashed to the ground next to him, nearly knocking Ben off his feet. “I never got your name,” he said, looking at Ben.

      “My name is Ben,” he replied through his wide open mouth, as his attention was diverted to the giant mythical creature eying him.

      “Well Ben, meet Deidreich.” The dragon dipped its head in greeting. Ben mirrored the action. “Now, Ben you are welcome to come over here, and I'll help you climb up.

      Ben walked over to the dragon and looked up at it, realizing just how massive it was for the first time. It towered over him, reaching a peak of about twenty feet off the ground. It put its neck close to the ground so that Ben could step up, with a boost from Dain. Once he had a steady grip on the hard scales of the creature, it took off into the air with a mighty jump followed by a series of wing flaps to gain altitude.

      He struggled to hold on as the world whipped by him in a blur of motion. Eventually, they breached the light cloud cover, and hovered for a few moments. It was cold, but Deidreich's body heat provided Ben with ample warmth.

      The world had a new, more fantastic beauty that he could barely comprehend. The sun highlighted the mountains, the grass, and the trees, creating one twisting, turning, rolling landscape. There were villages, populated with tiny moving specs, going about their daily lives.

      They suddenly tipped forward and began to descend, quickly plummeting towards the earth at nearly a ninety degree angle. Ben began to panic as it seemed more and more likely that they would crash into the ground. Deidreich pulled out of it last second, flying parallel to the ground, with only feet to spare. The speed made the skin on Ben's cheeks fly back and take the shape of his skull from the sheer wind force. When they had once again begun to near Dain, the dragons wings spread out, slowing them down, before stopping with a crash, next to him.

      “Welcome back,” he said clapping slowly.

      “WOW!” Ben yelled, throwing his hands into the air excitedly. He dismounted the dragon when it had lowered its head, but as he got his right foot onto the ground, the white light came back, blurring his vision entirely.

      He opened his eyes to see paramedics standing over him, his family off to the right side. He was in the hallway next to the stairwell, and disappointment tore at his gut. He fought back tears, wondering what the hell had happened.

      It ended up being a long night of brain scans, blood tests, and all other forms of medical prodding to determine his reason for passing out. Then a night turned to a week and a week to a month.

      Whenever he was asked what had happened, he told the truth, but everyone seemed to be convinced it had been a dream or ignored it completely. Everyone except him. It had felt too real, he still remembered the free-fall on Deidreich's back, and the feeling of the wind whipping through his hair.

      In the end, they concluded that nothing medically was wrong, and they eventually had to send him home, where, to his parents' elation, everything returned to normal. For a time. Eventually, he once again began having what they called "episodes", he called them adventures, and thoroughly looked forward to going back to Kartal. One day his parents had had enough, and they took him to see a several psychiatric specialists, due to the slight history of mental illness in the family.

      Ben uncomfortably sat in his office, requesting that his family wait outside as he described his many amazing trials and adventures in Kartal. When he was finished the doctor said, “I'm sorry Ben, none of that is or ever will be real. What you have is a form of psychosis, it creates this world for you, but it ostracizes you from this one.”

      “It feels pretty damned real to me,” Ben replied growing angry that no one understood the depth of this place. It simply couldn't be in his head, everything felt real. He had sustained injuries in battle, he had made friends, and lost them, he had even found love in this world.

      “Let me tell you this Ben, if you don't believe that this world is in your head, if you don't accept that, then you must realize, you can't live in them both. You have to choose the world you want to live in.”

Lines of white began to form at the edges of his vision as Ben stood. He smiled and said, “Then I choose my world.”

© 2014 NoblePariah

Author's Note

As always any opinions welcome. May be grammatical issues, written in like 2 hours. As I said looking for opinions as to extend this into a book or not.

My Review

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Nice story, I would suggest extending it by making some sense behind the experiences he have like a dream in his office, the novel plot can be the chain of meanings behind the visions and how they are related to Ben real life ..

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thank you, I do think that I'm going to extend that at this point, and I think that's a good idea, r.. read more
i think this story has a good plot. i like the mysteriousness of ben's episodes. i could picture the doctor giving him medication and his other world disappears so he just stops taking his meds because he chooses his own world. this could be longer. more scenes of when he is in his other worlds, what his life is like, etc. there could also be some small conflict in that world too. it's just me rambling. it's a great story. keep at it.

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thank you, I'm definitely going to extend it, I'm in the process of planning out the adventures he w.. read more
When reading, you can see the appeal of a fantasy world instead of our real one and I think that's a nice idea. I quite like all the possibilities that come with it! I can see how he would choose the world while being uninformed, then finding out later all the worries and dangers that accompany being there. Although, I think the execution isn't so great because I wanted a lot more to happen and for it to feel as if the story was going somewhere and I'm unsure if it's compelling.

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thank you for the review, I'm glad you liked the idea but as for the other portion the story is more.. read more
There are some errors that you will see if you have someone read it out loud to you. other than that you could keep it going for as long as you can.

Posted 9 Years Ago


9 Years Ago

Thank you for your review, I just reworked some of the issues I found when reading it out loud, but .. read more

9 Years Ago

I also have a story by the same name "The choice" Let me know if you think I should expand it.
Oh! And maybe he really does have a medical problem, and at the end he dies or something and goes off to live in his fantasy world. But only at the end after he completes his mission. Maybe he has to use the real world to help the fantasy one.. Just a thought lol. As you can tell, I really like this genre.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thank you! I would have included more of the world that he visits, which is actually in his head, bu.. read more
I really like this! At the beginning when you wrote, "He was a dreamer, that loved to do, well anything that got him out of the real world: Books, movies, games," That is exactly what I love to do lol.

I would really like to see the point of this world. Like, if he has to defeat something/someone. And maybe with consequences from going back to the real world to the fantsy one. Looking forward to more. :)

Posted 10 Years Ago

I found a few mistakes; not many. It's a very good short story and might make a book, which I would not, unfortunately, be able to follow.

Posted 10 Years Ago


10 Years Ago

Thank you, glad you liked it, and I'm not sure if its worth it, I've already got a few books planned.. read more

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7 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on September 25, 2012
Last Updated on December 9, 2014
Tags: fantasy, adventure



I am a writer trying to better myself in the craft. I'm 22 and in college, pursuing a degree in creative writing. Please don't add me and send me a read request without reviewing a piece of my work. .. more..

Harmonicas Harmonicas

A Story by NoblePariah

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