Posted on July 12 2019 by David Nystrom
“Zelda!” Daphnes shouted over the noise.
“I’m here!” his wife called back.
“I’m alright too,” the princess said from above. She had actually managed to grab hold of the ledge as the ground below had given way.
“Get to Lady Impa, she can get us to safety with the soldiers.”
Zelda heard her father, but she could see him. The man that had suddenly ambushed them. The man that had made her family look weak.
“Father, I have a shot! Toss me a bow!”
“Don’t be absurd! Get down here-“
There was a heavy crashing sound as more of the stadium collapsed. Zelda hopped away, remaining on the upper level of the stands, but below all she could see was darkness.
Adok’s attack had ripped the earth in two and from the dark center, vines of malice were slithering out. Monsters began to spawn from its energy and within minutes, the stadium would be over run.
Zelda looked down where she’d heard the voice of her father but all she could see was darkness and flames. A spear emerged from the fires, along with a massive Moblin. She scrambled to her feet and began running.
She reached the main floor and stumbled her way across the arena floor.
If I can get to the Swordsman Armory, I know I’ll find a weapon!
A moment later, Zelda entered the tent where the swordsmen had gathered before their matches. To her fortune, she found a small short sword, a bow, and seven arrows. She slung the bow over her shoulder and charged back into the arena.
When she got there though, Adok was gone.
She looked around in desperation and caught a glimpse of him floating towards the castle. Just when she took off though, something grabbed at her ankle.
Horror flooded her as the bony fingers of a Stalchild wrapped around and began to pull her into a pool of darkness.
Zelda fell to the ground but grasped the handle of the short sword and clumsily swung it at the undead monster. Her first swing missed, but the second struck the monster’s skull and shattered it. With her ankle free, Zelda got back up and charged out of the arena.
The street was no less chaotic than the inside of the arena had been. Families were running around trying to find each other. Civilians were fending off monsters as best they could, and the soldiers were overwhelmed. Fires raged on the thatched roofs, burning everything and blotting out the moon overhead. In the distance, through the thick clouds of smoke, Zelda could see Hyrule Castle where she knew she had to get.
She began up the main street but was forced off when a walkway overhead collapsed and blocked her path. Cutting down a side street, she emerged in a residential area that hadn’t been overtaken by the fires yet.
“Help me!” a small voice called out.
Zelda turned and looked back towards the Coliseum. An overturned cart, weighed down by its contents and an injured horse, had pinned a young boy under its siding. Zelda raced down the street and cut the siding free with one of the arrows she had.
“Are you hurt?” she asked, helping him to his feet.
“I dunno,” he whimpered as he tried to take a step.
Zelda looked down and knew the boy wouldn’t be able to run. His ankle had turned black and purple in the wreckage. She slid an arm around his back and hoisted his arm up over her and they began to move back up the street towards the castle.
Their feet froze when a horrible screech erupted from behind them. As Zelda turned her head to look back, a jagged sword pierced the cart then lifted the wreckage into the air and ripped it in half.
The skeletal being, armed with a round shield, a horned helmet, and the bronze blade thrust its arms out to its sides and roared with a scream from beyond the grave. Its red eyes narrowed their gaze on the princess and the boy. It pointed its sword at them. Then it began running.
Zelda lifted the boy and began to run as well. But she tripped, the boy tumbled out of her arms as the Stalfos approached. All she could do was fight.
She slid the bow off her shoulder and knocked an arrow into it as she rolled onto her back. She pulled back and took careful aim, then let the arrow fly.
The shot was clean and took the monster’s head off, causing its skeleton body to stumble and fall.
She got up and walked over to the boy who seemed to be okay. She slung the bow over her shoulder again, then began to hoist the boy back onto her shoulder when she noticed him suddenly go pale.
The bone-chilling scream of the Stalfos again bellowed out.
Zelda turned around just in time to see the monster readjusting its head with a snap and starting towards them again.
Fear paralyzed every muscle in Zelda’s body, and all she could manage was a desperate cry for help.
David Wayne Nystrom is a Staff Writer for Zelda Dungeon. This story is an imagining of the final days in Hyrule prior to the Great Flood talked about in the opening cinematic of The Wind Waker. His top three Zelda games are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Link’s Awakening. This story is also available in audio form, thanks to an ongoing podcast. To find it and learn more about the project, head to erawithoutahero.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter. Every Era Has Heroes…