Next in line from my story, following quite sensibly from yesterday's prompt (if I may say so myself), is: the squire.
The knight's squire is a bit of a late arriving character to my story, as originally I just had the knight on his own. But then I thought of all the possibilities (and extra words!) a squire would bring and it was a done deal pretty quickly. So it was good to have a stab at writing him today, though I'm not sure this is how he'll end up once I start writing in... four days? Eek.
My sister Sue and her husband Jake should be arriving shortly to spend the weekend with us. Very excited!
Also: I have a little announcement I'll be making in the next day or two. It's nothing huge, but I think you'll like it.
The woman lead Dustin down a wide hallway, then a narrower hallway, and then through a passage barely wide enough for them to fit through without turning sideways. He was about to ask the idiotic woman if she'd gotten them lost when they reached a staircase leading up.
After a short climb they arrived at a small balcony overlooking a grass courtyard. Below them a small group of young men were preparing for sword practice, most of them chatting excitedly amongst themselves while their instructor looked on with a scowl.
"Alistair?" the woman called down to the instructor. "Please have Jeremy and Richard pair up this morning."
"Oh, I like the look of him," Dustin said as a tall boy emerged from the pack, a wooden sword resting on his left shoulder.
"Oh yes, I'm sure Jeremy would make a fine second choice," the woman told him. "But I suspect young Richard will soon win you over. Here he comes."
"You. Must. Be. Joking."
A second boy was now approaching Jeremy, dragging his sword along the ground behind him with his right hand while his left scratched his rather impressive belly. Richard loosed a mighty yawn as he came to stand before his practice partner, who was regarding him with complete distaste.
"Just watch," the woman told Dustin, patting him on the shoulder without taking her eyes away from the two combatants. Dustin gave her a doubtful look before pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and polishing his armor where her fingers had trespassed.
With a snarl Jeremy came rushing forward, sword held high over his head in a two-handed grip. Richard belched loud enough for half the academy to hear and held his ground, his sword's tip still buried in the ground behind him. As Jeremy brought his weapon whipping down toward his head, Richard finally stirred.
He brought his sword up with such force and speed that it nearly knocked his opponent's sword from his grip. As Jeremy stumbled back Richard feinted high and then slashed low, connecting with Jeremy's left shin with a mighty crack.
"My bad," Richard said with a slight shrug before attacking again, this time striking Jeremy's right shin. Another apology, another attack. Repeat. Again. And again.
"Richard," the woman began as she turned to face the knight, "is by far the meanest child to ever walk these halls. He makes an enemy out of every person he encounters. There is not a soul here who would shed a tear if he died in some unfortunate accident. And yet... he survives. No, he thrives. You want durable? He's your squire."