Thursday October 28th, 2010

The exercise:

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."


Greg said...

Ah, so the squire is going to be actively maltreated by Dustin through the story then? That sounds very promising! I liked the way he's introduced, the description of the squire, and his undoubted ability -- all great writing.
One tiny technicality: a feint is a move intended to draw an opponent's attention or weapon away from where the real attack is going to come from, so Richard would never feint while his opponent is stumbling back -- it's a waste of time and energy when he could just hit his off-guard and off-balance enemy instead. (Oh, yeah, I actually know more about fencing than I know about fire....)
I'm also intrigued by this announcement. My guess shall be... you've decided now that you've moved back to the land and farming, that your writing would benefit from a similar step and from now on you'll be handwriting blog entries and posting them to us daily, as snail-mail.

The squire
While all outside the cattle died,
And the vultures were patiently circling,
The family inside quietly cried,
While the squire was happily squarecling.

[to squarecle: to attempt to square the circle, which has been known to be impossible since antiquity.]

Watermark said...

I'm continuing my piece from yesterday, this time with the squire but same sort of scene :) I must say that the prompts here have really got my writing going again. So here's a big thank you!


The squire

The trumpets sounded and the crowd’s attention turned to the castle gate. The drawbridge had been lowered and was decorated in all manners exquisite. Hagan’s squire was riding high on his silver horse, leading the rest of the herd. The knight’s shield was slung across the squire’s arm and in the other hand, he held on to Hagan’s flag. He loved all the attention that the crowd was giving him. The squire puffed up his chest, tilted his head slightly to the side as he scanned the faces in the crowd and broke into a wide smile. Horses in readiness, the dragon made another low swoop above the crowd. The trumpet sounded again as the squire threw his hat up in the air to cheer which Hagan, the mighty knight, caught in timely fashion. Music broke the excitement in the air once again and the squire advanced the horses. The parade had begun.

Zhongming said...

Marc – I’d love to have him as my squire, durable :)

Greg – Wonderful poem, the imagery is simply great! :)

Watermark – Beautiful piece, I think you captured the character to life :)

The Squire

He walked down the path towards the king with his eyes looking downwards. Your highness, I am deeply sorry for your losses. I didn’t expect ‘The Invincible Loyalist” to die and suffer such terrible death. He was a brave man. He did our country proud. His sacrifice shall be remembered for the rest of our lives.

What actually happened? How did they torture the squire to death? Isn’t he the one supposed to be protected just like the strategist Troy?

Ronnie, the spy started to explain what actually happen. He stands up from his seat, eyes looking watery while his whole facial expression is filled with words of fear. He wanted to pour out all those pain that he felt during the torture.

They handcuff him before they bring him down to the cell for a lockup. One of them took off all of his clothing and left him naked. Then they tie both of his legs and hands to the pole in the center of the cell. Both hands and legs were forty-five degrees apart. Then the torturer started to put his metal sword in that hot burning fire coal. They started to whip him with their leather belt, one by one, they took turns. After sometime, they got real bored, they started to add metal spikes into the end of their belt and they continue to do the whipping. ‘Till they see a pool of blood dripping onto the cement then their face is full of smirking smile – one of them say “look, what a shitty king you’ve got. You serve them with your whole life and in the end? They serve you up! Nobody is coming to rescue you, you lowlife! Hahaha….”

Marc said...

Greg - ah, I kinda half-assed the duel because I felt it was getting a bit long. But it's good to know you'll be around to catch my technical mistakes once again :)

Great guess! It actually sparked another idea in my poor head (that's already much too full of them, thank you very much) but I suspect nothing will ever come of it. Eh, I'll write it down anyway and who knows.

Squarecling. You are just full of interesting tidbits, aren't you?

Watermark - you're welcome! I'm so glad they're working for you :)

Great continuation. The image of the hat being caught is another winner for me.

Zhongming - very visceral scene today. Made me uncomfortable reading it, which means you conveyed it well.

Zhongming said...

Marc - so sorry about that, I didn't mean to write something horrible, it just come to me naturally.

It's my first attempt to write something about torture and the scene about whipping with metal spikes actually came from "Passion of the Christ" movie. I feel quite eerie too after reading my own stuff... Anyway I think it’s because I wanted to write something different. Ah, so sorry about that…

Marc said...

Zhongming - no apologies needed! As I said, I thought it was well done. Uncomfortable can be good sometimes :)