Author has written 23 stories for Teen Titans, League of Legends, My Little Pony, Skullgirls, Touhou Project, Diablo, RWBY, Love Live! School idol project, and Katawa Shoujo.
The wanderer's feet trod a familiar path. Its stones were worn and rutted by the number of times he had walked it; although others had come this way, it was ultimately his, and his alone.
The dark sky above and the barren land to either side reflected his mood. Doubt assailed his mind, as it ever had, but recently it had become stronger.
Why? Because, no matter how hard he struggled against its pull, it inexorably forced him back. He walked along different pathways, only to find that their wending ways bent back on themselves. Always, he came back to where he started.
Perhaps this was not such a bad thing, he reflected, pulling closer his cloak to shield him from the biting winter winds. The place he walked towards had been a place of much comfort, when it had still been his domicile. True, he had spawned many horrors there, but that was necessary in order to accomplish greater and more elegant works.
For all he knew they were still there, bickering amongst each other in the deep, dark dungeons, waiting for their creator to return. He smiled ruefully, remembering how they had humbled him: at first he had treated them as his subjects, he as their king, but they had soon taught him otherwise. His creations lived.
The path drew near to its end. The wanderer looked up, lifting his hood. The dark shadow of his former castle loomed before him, like a revenant of times before. It seemed to him that the spectre questioned him; asking him why he had let the edifice fall into such calamitous disrepair.
It was a sorry sight, especially in this tempestuous weather: many of its taller towers had been flung down by the howling winds, or had simply collapsed under their own weight. Thick nets of knotting creepers cracked the crumbling walls. The once-great doors were thrown down, their hinges ripped out of place.
The wanderer looked on in silence, thoughts mulling in his head. He had come this far down the track. Why was he afraid? Why did he not continue, and restore his domain to its former glory? He would be a wanderer no more; no longer a dilettante, peddling his meagre wares to a world that neither listened or cared. He would revive the slumbering power that was surely still in this place - a power that could blossom only under his care, and restore him to his former might; a king of his art. As it was, the place stagnated and decayed...
So why did he not return? Of what was he afraid? His creations would not begrudge his return, he was sure of that; their jealousy at his departure would be overcome by their sheer joy at seeing him once again. And besides, there was this other matter...
He had not been idle since abandoning his former demesne: in fact, that had been the main source of his doubt. He tried to turn his hand to other trades, but to no avail. This was the only thing he would ever be truly good at. Others might not acknowledge his power, and he might never become rich or famous for pursuing it, but it was his, and he enjoyed it: that was all that mattered. Whilst wandering the wastes of the wilderness, he had continued working on his greatest invention to date. Needless to say, all his latest creations were his greatest, and this one particularly so.
Reaching into his cloak, the wanderer pulled from within it something which he clasped close in both his hands, not wanting to expose it to the harsh elements, and yet still unable to resist glimpsing its brilliance once more. He peeked through a crack between his thumbs, and there saw a golden glimmer shine through. Such was its incandescence that the thing itself could not be seen, blinding the eye like a miniature sun. The wanderer smiled again, and returned his newest creation to the safety of his faded cloak.
And yet, and yet... for all the joy his creations gave him, they wrenched some part of his soul for their own. After all, nothing can come of nothing, and only the living can imbue life. Was it truly worth the expense? Could his spirit endure such maltreatment?
The wanderer found a rock by the wayside - a stone fallen from the walls of his own castle - and there settled him down. He would think this through until he was absolutely certain; until doubt no longer disturbed his thoughts... if that was at all possible. Perhaps he would restore his kingdom to its former glory, and let all who wished enter in to see its many wonders - perhaps he would not.
He pondered the question, still asking himself: What is it you fear?