Thursday July 4th, 2013

The exercise:

It is time to have another visit to Mejaran.

You likely know the drill by now. If not, click the link and get drilled.

Er, something like that.

This afternoon my parents were kind and generous enough to treat myself and Kat to a couples massage at one of the local spas. It was much needed (I haven't had a massage in years) and much appreciated.

Anyway, back to the village. I felt like, now that we're past the halfway point, it might be time to kick things up a notch. Or two.


On the fourth day of rain crowds gathered at both bridges in the village, each of which had somehow survived unscathed to that point. East and West Mejaran were well represented by those safeguarding the links between each side, though not all were motivated by the purest of intentions.

Some villagers just wanted to make sure that the other side of the river did not seem more eager than theirs to keep the bridges intact.

Few words were spoken by the sodden men and women gathered there; even fewer were shared between those from opposite banks. Though, inevitably, as the day wore on, the rain refused to relent, and tempers worsened, that began to change.

Yarel didn't hear the exchange that broke the levee at the north bridge. So when he was asked what happened afterward he was unable to point an accurate finger at the instigators. Though, truth be told, even if he had born witness to the initial confrontation he would have been hard pressed to remember any of the details.

For in the minutes that followed he was far too preoccupied with simply staying alive amidst the chaos.

He could, however, be trusted to know one piece of information, as the image was seared into his nightmares after dusk and lurked in shadows past dawn for many years to come.

Azmar's sword was the first to draw blood.


Anonymous said...

Ah, it sounds like your parents found somewhere with air conditioning then to make sure you all escaped the heat! I can barely sit still long enough to watch television, so I doubt I'd fare well being massaged. It sounds like you really enjoyed it though!
As for Mejaran, well, I think we knew something would be lighting the fuse on that powderkeg soon! Azmar's come a long way from Morgana's first little sketch of him, too!

It was just a tiny sliver of reflected light, but it was out of place in a sodden crowd of villagers. They were clustered around and across the bridges, mostly a confused mass of people who weren't really sure why they were there, but thought that they ought to be. For support of... something? For solidarity with... each other? If you'd pressed them for a slogan they'd have finally come up with "For Mejaran!" and maybe, if that was all there was to it, that would have been it.
Azmar saw the blade only because the cloud thinned (the rain never stopped) and the sky brightened for a moment. He'd already seen that there were people in the crowd he didn't recognise – agents provocateurs he was sure – and the blade was a stiletto in the hands of such a man.
His sword whisked free of its scabbard and the point of it was under the man's chin in the indrawing of breath. The crowd shifted, edging away from the violence, and a second man, with white whiskers and a drinker's nose, tried to strike down on Azmar's arm. He disengaged with the ease of many years' practice and brought his other arm up into the face of yet a third man. Blood flew from a broken nose and was lost in the downpour.
The man with a blade roared and lept forward, too slow to spot a real swordsman when he met one, and slowed to a halt as he slid along Azmar's swordblade, his eyes showing his shock at the speed with which Azmar moved.
The whole crowd fell back now, save for the strangers in their midst, and Azmar found himself at the centre of semi-circle, with only the North bridge at his back.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Okay, I let this fester---I actually had to make myself an outline of what's happened thus far---and I thought I had an idea for a twist, but all afternoon it's refused to coalesce. So you get the set-up instead.

Besides, it's more fun to see what you people do with it anyway. ^^
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
A noise startled Liefert out of fitful sleep. All told, he hadn't wanted to fall asleep in the middle of the forest at the foot of the mountains in the dead of night, but the nerves involved with trying to look in all directions at once whilst remaining hidden had worn on him more than he would have liked.

He was no good at this sort of thing anyway. He had tried talking Yarel into taking his place---despite Jocelle's exhortation that her son not be involved---but the lad was dead-set on going to some sword club meeting, and tried convincing Liefert to join him. He declined, but there was another meeting in a few days. He might go then.

Underbrush movement. Liefert ducked back behind his bush just before two men came from the direction of the river, both bearing sizable stick bundles. It was too dark to see faces, but Liefert recognized Azmar by his peculiar gait.

Wait, Azmar? Wasn't he supposed to be at the sword-thing?

The two exchanged no words as they dropped their bundles, arranged them, and set them alight. Their backs were to Liefert, but he could just make out Azmar's companion in the snatches of the new light. And he was surprised indeed to see Principal Ikava, in far plainer attire, sitting opposite the estate agent.

Marc said...

Greg - highly recommend giving it a try. Perhaps start with a scalp massage, as those tend to be shorter. And heavenly, generally speaking.

I like where you went with what I gave you, mostly because it wasn't what I was expecting. These strangers to the village intrigue me.

g2 - an outline is a fine idea. Saves time reading through everything each time I'm set to rejoin the story. Don't suppose I could borrow yours?

Hmm, more intrigue. I'm glad I've got a month to sort this all out!