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Only You Can Save Us
by Will Fagan

I was milking the cow beside the barn when the old man appeared from behind the stone wall and spoke to me.
“Hello, Rhys.” The old man was tall and thin, with a long white beard and blue eyes that twinkled mischievously. He wore a long grey cloak and a pointed, wide brimmed hat.
“Who the are you?” I asked.
“I have many names,” the old man replied. “Sometimes I lose track of who I am.” He held a white wooden staff in one hand, with a blue gemstone embedded atop it.
“How do you know my name?”
“The wind tells me all I need to know,” the man said.
“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked.
The wizard (he was a wizard; you had to be blind to not deduce this) seemed taken aback. “Beg your pardon?”
“That sort of pseudo-mystical bullshit may fly where you come from, but I asked you a direct question, and I want a direct answer. How do you know my name?”
“I read of you in a book,” the wizard said.
“What book? The phonebook? That’s not very likely, as that would be a pretty blatant anachronism.”
“It has been written in the books of fate that we would meet at this location, on this day,” the wizard said.
“Are you trying to sell me something?” I asked.
“No,” the wizard said.
“There’s a sign by the gate. ‘No Solicitors’.
“I’m not trying to sell you anything.”
“I've already got a dictionary. And a family bible. And I already bought the annual milkmaid’s fundraising calendar.”
“I have been sent to give you a message,” the wizard spoke.
“Who are you? Postman Pat? What’s the message?”
“There are dark times ahead.”
“Ah, so now you’re the weatherman.”
“Evil lurks in the shadows, awaiting the signal to return--”
“Spooky.”
The wizard huffed. “Look, will you please let me speak?”
I nodded my head and began to roll a cigarette. “Fine, fine, go on with your little speech.”
“Thank you,” the wizard seemed a little confused. “Where was I?”
“‘Evil lurks in the shadows, awaiting the signal to return…’”
“--to return and spread chaos and destruction across the land. Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,”
“Shhh. The Dark Lord Ozykardion arises from his immortal slumber. Long banished from the land of the living, he seeks to return and spread havoc once more.
“Prophecy tells of a young man of simple birth who will rise to defeat his sinister machinations and bring light and peace to the kingdom.”
“What are you getting at?” I cut in. “What does this have to do with me?”
“The prophecy instructed me to travel to this exact location. Here, the savior of humanity awaits his destiny.”
I cocked my eyebrow. “Some prophecy.”
“Indeed.”
I stood up. “Right, well, thanks for the story. I’d better get back to work.” I picked up the milk pail and turned back towards the barn door.
“Wait!” the wizard said.
“What?” I asked, turning back.
“Well, what about the prophecy?”
“What about it?”
“The savior of humanity? That’s clearly supposed to be you.”
“I don’t think so.”
The wizard seemed annoyed. “What do you mean? The prophecy isn’t wrong!”
“Look, I’d love to help you slay the Dark Lord Ozzy Osbourne--”
“Ozykardion.”
“Whatever. I’d love to help, but I’d rather not.”
“You can’t refuse!” the wizard said.
“Why not? It’s a free country, isn't it? I don’t have to do what I don’t want to do, and I’d rather not be the savior of humanity. Thank you for visiting, goodbye, shut the gate on your way out.”
“You cannot escape your destiny!” the wizard said, pleadingly. “The darkness gathers.”
“Then I’ll buy extra candles. Good day,” I walked into the barn and pulled shut the door behind me.

The next day I woke to discover a large boulder in the center of my yard, where the watering trough normally sat. Embedded in the rock was a sword, a very snazzy one at that, with gems in the pommel and gold inlay on the blade.
“God damnit,” I looked around and quickly noticed the top of a pointed hat sticking out from behind a haystack. “I can see you.”
“Good morning!” the wizard said, trying his best to act nonchalant. “What a strange rock formation. Is that a sword. It looks quite powerful. Yes, I can feel the magic radiating from it. It looks stuck fast in there, but I bet you could pull it out of there if you gave it a good strong tug.”
“Look, clearly the sword can only be claimed by one chosen by fate to rule. I can infer that you intend for me to pull out the sword and claim my destiny as the one to defeat the Dark Lord Doctor Oz. I’m not falling for it.”
The wizard frowned. “Look, you have to listen to me. A terrible calamity is about to befall us. You can see the portents all around. Birds are congregating above us and vanishing in the night.
“They’re probably just migrating for the winter,” I said, rubbing my forehead in frustration.
“A child was born in the village with no eyes.”
“You’re referring to the Johnson’s kid? They’re first cousins, so I’m not surprised. There first kid eats rocks and masturbates in public.”
“You must take action and accept your fate! The prophecy cannot be ignored!” the wizard shouted. He jumped over the stone fence and vanished down the road.
I walked over to the stone and inspected the sword. Sure enough, it came out of the rock quite easily when I tugged it. I threw the blade down the privy pit.

That night, I was roused from my sleep by a fevered banging on my door. I opened it to find, who else, the wizard. “Rhys! You must come quick!”
“What the hell do you want?” I shouted angrily.
“There is a dragon in the barn! You must follow me! We must kill it!”
I grabbed my jacket and pulled it on. “This oughta be good.”
“I followed the wizard to the barn. “Look! There it is!” He pointed through the doorway.
“That’s the dragon?” I asked.
“Yes, behold its mighty terror!”
“That’s not a dragon.”
“Be not afraid! You must overcome your fears and slay the beast!”
“That’s an iguana.”
“Look at its eyes!”
“You glued chicken wings to its back.”
“They bore into your soul.”
“You’re a loonie.”
“This is your first test of character! You must do what you know is right.”
“I’m going back to bed.”
“Foolish child!” the wizard suddenly bellowed. “You think you can escape your destiny? Ozymandias--”
“Ozykardion.”
“--grows more powerful everyday. Millions of lives are on the line, and yet you, the proclaimed Savior of Mankind, defy the gods through pride and impudence!”
“Get the fuck off my farm.”
“Can I have the sword back?” the wizard asked, seemingly humbled.
“Get it yourself.”
Then I dragged him to the privy and shoved him into it head first.
Only You Can Save Us
Rhys is a simple farmer, or so he thought. A wizard appears and reads him his destiny. But what if the hero doesn't believe in fate.
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Modern Home by wafagan14
Modern Home
A sketchup model of my own design that I rendered. I rather like it, but then again, I designed it, so my opinion is rather biased.
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Inhumane Labor
Will Fagan
“I am standing with Mike O’Connell, 54, of O’Connell Industries. What began as a small family-run farm grew into a massive agricultural industry that includes dairies, slaughterhouses, and equipment manufacturing. Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. O’Connell.”
“No problem, Miss.”
“Now, I must admit, the speed at which your company developed is shocking. You started O’Connell Industries two years ago, and today you make an estimated five-hundred million dollars a year. What is the secret to your success in so short a time?”
“It was pretty hard for most of my life, farming these here fields. For generations my father and grandfather toiled this land, working themselves to exhaustion to make a profit. Sometimes we barely broke even. It took me a lot of work to reach where I am today. I like to think it was the standard American ideal of blood, sweat, and tears. Of course, tapping into the animal labor force certainly helped as well.”
“I beg your pardon, animal labor force?”
“Correct. You see, I began to wonder if it were possible to train the cows in the dairy barn to operate their automatic milkers by themselves. By doing so, I had more time to attend to matters elsewhere on the farm. You see, a cow is smarter than most people think: if you calmly explain a task to them, they are able to grasp concepts quite quickly.”
“So, you taught the animals to milk themselves?”
“That’s right. Of course, I soon had them doing other tasks as well. The hardest part was teaching them to drive.”
“Drive?”
“Yes, I soon determined that female cows had difficulty operating the steering wheel and pedals, as their udders tended to get in their way. Now, though, we have cows operating most vehicles around the farm. See that biplane up there?”
“The one buzzing over us?”
“Yep, that’s old Smokey, my prize Shorthorn bull. He’s in charge of dusting the crops. He’s a good, honest worker, very diligent, never misses a spot.”
“Does fly well?”
“Oh, yes, loads better than the last bull I had in the cockpit. He crashed shortly after takeoff. Damn shame. Some don’t take to flying as well as others.”
“So, is it just cows who work for you?”
“Oh, no, we’ve managed to get most of the barnyard to chip in. The sheep tend to the crops. They ain’t that smart, so we give them simple tasks. The goats run the equipment manufacturing. They’re best suited for assembly line work.”
“Why?”
“Smaller hooves, easier for them to grasp tools.”
“I didn’t think it was possible for a goat or cow to grab anything with hooves.”
“See, that’s the common misconception among most people. They see an animal as mere chattel, livestock, but they can work, too, and work damn better than any human I’ve ever met.”
“How so?”
“Well, they don’t take holidays. Don’t grasp the concept of religion, so Christmas and Easter are right off. They also don’t take payment.”
“Have they ever asked for payment?”
“Of course not. Animals can’t talk.”
“But apparently they can fly aircraft.”
“Don’t get smart-alecky.”
“Apologies. One final question, if farm animals are in charge of running most of your properties, then who is in charge of the, ahem, slaughterhouses?”
“The chickens?”
“Why the chickens?”
“I don’t know. I think they’re just sociopaths. I’ve watched them at work, and they seem to take real pleasure in what they do.”
“You are a ridiculous person.”
“How can you tell?”
Inhumane Labor
A funny little dialogue I developed during a road trip through Indiana. Lotta farms in Indiana. Not a lotta much else.
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Idle Hands
I don't know what this is. It could be a horror novel, it could be a fairy tail.
The employee of a strange little bookshop discovers a book that shows him the consequences of what could have been had he followed his dreams. As he struggles to regain his ambition, he discovers the shop's terrible secret.
You may note that the character has my name. I sort of wrote it as an analysis of my fears and anxieties about the future. I wanted to see what would happen if, in the future, I were to look back at the choices I'd made and consider whether I was happy with the path I'd chosen. I also wondered what would happen if I were to not choose, if I were to effectively ignore the choices and live an uneventful life without any indecision or plot progression, so to speak. Would a life suspended be a life worth living?
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New story! I'm not entirely pleased with it. If you want, leave a critique. What worked? What didn't work? What could I do to improve my work? I'm genuinely interested.

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wafagan14
Will Fagan
Artist | Student | Design & Interfaces
United States
I'm from North Jersey, studying architecture in Southwest Ohio. Occasionally I try writing, art and photography.

Personal Quote: "There is nothing more uncommon than common sense"--Frank Lloyd Wright
Interests
Another story, a funny (if perhaps sacrilegious) story called Temptation, starring Eran the Demon and Jesus Christ! It's got swear words in it.
  • Mood: Questionable
  • Listening to: Bombay Bicycle Club "Luna"
  • Reading: The Fountainhead
  • Watching: Amelie
  • Playing: Space Station 13
  • Eating: Stir fry
  • Drinking: Vernor's Ginger Soda

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:iconbittybitt39:
bittybitt39 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015  Student General Artist
well hey there Will :wave:
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:iconarmando-r:
ARMANDO-R Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2014
Thank you very much for the fave :) much appreciated
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:iconjoe-roberts:
Joe-Roberts Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
:) Thanks for the F:+fav:ve
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:iconjdwrudy25:
JDWRudy25 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks for the fav
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:iconcamasan423:
camasan423 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011
You're stuff is so choice! XOXOXO luv ya!
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:iconwafagan14:
wafagan14 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011  Student Interface Designer
500 views!
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