As his wide set, almondy eyes scanned the fresh aesthetics, Link breathed a much welcomed whiff of Pasadena’s clean air into his lungs. There was a cool, comforting, calming serenity about this Pasadena air – innocence, even – that was entirely devoid of the wretched, putrid pungeance of Gannon’s treachery. The evil pig had perished at the end of Link’s sword eons ago, but an eternal sensation loomed inside the abdomen of the young hero, leaving him fearful that the angst that had manifested in his soul would never subside.
Still, he hadn’t come this far to dwell upon the torments of his past. Travelling transdimensionally is an exhausting feat, even for a renowned hero, and though he had grown quickly nostalgic for the tranquil chaos of his homeland and his tireless quest to earn the love of a beautiful princess, Link was not about to squander this opportunity at a new life.
“Well, it’s definitely not Hyrule, by any means,” he thought out loud, with traces of optimism in his voice, “but at least I didn’t wind up in Santa Ana.”
Truth be told, after the horrors he had seen during his time in Hyrule, Santa Ana may not have seemed quite that bad. A multitude of lifetimes spent slaying soulless, poison-shooting ghosts, lifeless, sword-wielding skeleton-men, and obese peanut butter and jelly monsters can drain a man’s heart, destroying his very willingness to continue living. Remarkably, though, Link appeared unphased through the entire ordeal. He swore he would never again slay even one more monster, not now, not ever.
All was not settled so well inside his soul, though. For months, Link has been pondering the nature of his very existence. His entire life, he felt, had been spent as if in the control of some mysterious, external force that commanded his every movement. More than once, he felt as though he was cast, quite cruelly, as fate’s puppet – as if he lived a life devoid of free-will. Could it possibly be that his sole purpose in life, ultimately, was to save the beautiful princess Zelda, or was there some higher calling that could free him from the life of dread and death that had, for so long, consumed him?
Standing outside the perimeter of Fuller Theological Seminary on that aberrantly frigid October afternoon, his apprehension reached heights unknown since the moments immediately preceding his descent down the stairs leading in to the infamous Level 6.
“Well, here goes nothing!”
His mind had firmly been made. Link took a few staggered steps forward, and then froze. Could he really go through with it? Sure, he’d been terribly jaded by Zelda’s inexplicable decision to run off with that suave, smug, craven investment banker a mere two weeks after he had rescued her and her entire kingdom from inevitable damnation at the hands of the greatest evil ever known to Hyrulian society, but was this really the proper recourse? Upon second thought, the red and blue knights that ominously occupied the walls of Level 6 were now not nearly as daunting as the looming prospect of lifelong celibacy.
“Have you gone mad, man,” he said to himself as he paced across the sidewalk. “There are other princesses out there. Princesses far more beautiful than Zelda, and held in much looser captivity. Hell, there is a princess you could free simply by jumping over some ugly green fellow who spits fireballs. You’ve slain dragons! Surely, you could rescue her and she could restore your faith in the sanctity of love.”
But his mind had firmly been made. After a lifetime dedicated to saving a princess who turned his selfless chivalry into a mere afterthought, Link felt it long overdue to save himself. It would not be an easy transition, trading in his bloodstained, war-worn, hunter green tunic for the pristine purity of a snow white collar, but he was completely entrenched in his commitment to starting his life anew. He could not suffer another heartbreak in the name of love and heroism. No, he could not stomach the knowledge that his next golden-haired maiden in distress had fled to another castle, seeking solace in the arms of some coward who would have perished long before reassembling the Triforce and bringing harmony to Hyrule.
Link’s blood fumed as he envisioned his Zelda, his one and only love and purpose for living, carelessly dancing the night away, as if intoxicated by the overpowering fumes of lust, with that spineless Thadeous as some poor minstrel played the sappy sounds of a vile love song on his ocarina. His mind wandered, replaying the traumatic images of thousands of goblins falling prey to his masterful swordsmanship. His spirit shook, and his hand clinched, tightening around the absent hilt of his death bringer.
“…no, Link, you mustn’t,” he whispered to himself, without a trace of conviction.
His mind had firmly been made. Gannon had long since been slain, but a new evil had arisen in Hyrule, and a hero was called upon once more to vanquish the threat and free the beautiful princess Zelda. Without haste, Link reached into his sack and pulled out his trusted candle. As he had many times before, Link set a small, isolated bush ablaze and leapt into the fire so that the wise old man would give him the sword he needed to slay the evil Thadeous and return peace to Hyrule.
But this was not Hyrule, this was Earth. On Earth, when young heroes jump blindly into burning bushes, they do not find wise men who hand out swords.
© Copyright 2012 A.M. Schultz. All rights reserved.
A.M. Schultz is a student, pseudo-scholar, writer, closet-nerd and philosophy junkie. Prognosticated to become either a college professor, a full-time author, a partial buddhist or a total recluse, he intends to write his little heart out in between meditation sessions, kickboxing workouts, Greek yogurt indulgences, drooling over the works of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, preparing to battle the dreaded GRE, and spontaneously travelling across the eastern United States in search of high adventure and low-country cuisine.
5 thoughts on “The Hyrules of Heroism by A.M. Schultz”
Great story! Thanks so much for submitting it. I hope everyone clicks the links. That last one is crack-up.
Ha! The “new evil.” Too funny; too true.
I really liked your story. I’ve never played Zelda, but my sons used to, so I was able to enjoy the re-imagining of Link’s character. (Poor Link.)
I have so much admiration for writers who write fantasy fiction. Just loved the descriptive prose, and,the reference to Santa Anna just had me grinning (shades of Jeff Dunham!). Your ending was a kicker. Perfection. Great job.
I enjoyed this story! And I laughed out loud at the Santa Ana bit.
The last link’s not working right now but the joke’s still there if folks read it.
Thanks for the comments, all!
This was a random, late night write but it was fun — which is really all that matters.