What the Stories Forget
Red Viking
viking_red@hotmail.com


Okay, let's get this over with. The Legend of Zelda and all of its characters belong to their rightful owners and not me. This story is fictional and was written solely for entertainment purposes. Please don't sue me.

Centuries from now, every race will be telling stories about the brave hero who defeated the evil Ganon and rescued the beautiful princess Zelda. They'll say that I fearlessly rescued the seven sages and killed Ganon with a single blow. That's the reason why I'm writing this down now. I'm hoping that somewhere, somehow, someone will find this journal and learn the truth. You see, legends have a nasty habit of focusing on the story and ignoring the grisly details.

Let me start at the beginning. I spent the first ten years of my life with the Kokiri. It wasn't the perfect childhood since Mido seemed to have a personal grudge against me, but I was happy for the most part. I used to spend the days with Saria and the rest of my friends. We would play Hide-and-go-Seek in the Lost Woods, eat wild berries, and do all the other things that children do....until the day came when I had to leave the village and my entire world was turned upside down. The now dead Deku Tree told me that I had to meet Princess Zelda and learn about my destiny.

Destiny: What a load of crap. I never wanted to be a hero. I just wanted to live a normal life like everyone else. Was that too much to ask? Unfortunately for me, the goddesses had other plans. As a result, I've now spent many years of my life saving Hyrule and keeping Ganon sealed in the Sacred Realm.

Anyway, after saving Hyrule I became an instant celebrity. Everyone greeted me with the utmost respect. Everyone wanted to by me a drink. To the townsfolk, I was the epitome of the storybook hero: Handsome, fearless, honorable and compassionate. It wasn't long until they started telling stories about my exploits.

"The slobbering beast stood over seven feet tall, but Link wasn't afraid," They'd say. "The beasts' needle-like teeth and sharp talons were stained with the blood of countless warriors but Link's iron will never faltered. With a bloodcurdling scream, the creature lunged at Link but found itself impaled upon Link's holy sword."

I fought that thing in the Shadow Temple. The stories forget to mention that it almost killed me. The stories forget to mention that I was already half-mad with fear. The Shadow Temple was no place for the living. The unsettling feeling of death and decay permeated the ancient netherworld, and the unnatural coldness literally chilled me to the bone. I remember trembling when I felt like I was being watched. Every so often, I saw something move from the corner of my eye but when I turned around, the only thing staring back at me was the cold and silent blackness of the shadows. My breath grew ragged as I descended into the lower levels. By this time, I could feel an icy grip wrapping itself around my heart. The haunting whispers of all those who, according to myth, died in the Temple filled my ears. Hylian, Moblin....I heard all of them moaning in eternal pain and horror. I could almost see them staring at me with dead, ghostly eyes from the blackness.

I lost it right there. I started running like Ganon himself was after me. My heart wanted to explode out of my chest and my tears blurred my vision. I needed to get away from those damn shadows! I wanted to go back to Kokiri Village, back to Saria, back to my childhood! I wanted to throw down my sword and shield and run away from Hyrule, away from all the monsters and nightmares that filled my life!

I tripped on a loose stone and the shadows engulfed me as I curled into a feral ball, now paralyzed by fear. The whisperings grew louder and started mocking me, just like Mido had done seven years ago. "Who do you think you are?" They whispered. "You're nothing! You're just a scared little child in a man's body. You shouldn't have come here boy, and now you'll die. Just like the rest of us." Then, in unison they started to chant: "A soul is here, a soul so frightened, A soul is here, a soul so young, A soul is here, a soul to eat, A soul is here, a soul to join us." Screaming in terror, I clawed at my ears to try to block out the awful sound, but it kept getting louder and louder until the very walls were violently shaking. I knew I was going to die there and my soul would join the countless other in an eternity of pain.

Then I heard someone singing. I couldn't hear it at first, but it steadily became louder and I recognized it as Zelda's Melody. I concentrated on the melody and the sounds of the damned became silent. I felt a comforting warmth surround me that made me feel like I was in my mother's arms. I opened my eyes and saw Navi looking down at me with warmth and sympathy in her small golden eyes as she sang. If it weren't for Navi, I wouldn't have survived the Shadow Temple. She gave me confidence to go on and for that, I will always be grateful.

The stories never mention that the hero lost hope countless times. They never mention how the hero just wanted to live a normal life. And they certainly never mention how the hero cowered with fear at the sight of the bogeymen that haunted the dreams of children. I'm tired of all this hero crap. I just want to be treated like everyone else. But the people keep telling stories, and I still remain a hero.

The townspeople are beginning to change my very identity. I'm no longer me. They're turning me into the hero from the stories. Just the other day, I overheard a girl talking to her friends. They said that I would marry Zelda and live happily ever after because that's what always happened in the stories.

Bullshit.

I was robbed of my innocence and seven years of my life. People died, my friends suffered, I suffered, and Hyrule was in ruins. And it was all because of a fucking dream Zelda had when she was ten!

I just want this to end. I'm not a hero. I never wanted to be. I started out as a ten-year-old kid trapped in an adult body. I'm just me: Link.

But the stories tend to forget that.