Wednesday March 26th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: defiance.

Back home in Osoyoos, safe and sound. Max slept for almost the entire drive from Dawson Creek to Fort St. John, and the majority of the flight from Vancouver to Penticton. The flight to Vancouver was mostly good, but unfortunately we had to wake him up to get him off the plane in Penticton.

He complained about that for most of the drive home.

Thankfully he was happy to see all his toys again, even if he was calling for Dati (Natalie) while he rediscovered them.

Regardless, I am happy to be here again. Despite being quite ready to fall flat on my face and snore the next however many hours away.


It is true. Our enemies hold the high ground. They outnumber us. Without question, they believe the battle that will begin in the coming hours will end for them in glorious victory.

They are wrong. Their memories have failed them. They do not recall who waits to parry their swords, dodge their arrows, split their skulls. They have forgotten who we are.

We are warriors. Our brothers and sisters are warriors. Our fathers and mothers are warriors. Our family trees have roots which dig deep into the earth, eager for the furnace of the Earth's core. Their tips do not burn, do not blacken, do not die.

They are shaped and hardened, like swords in a forge at the hands of expert bladesmiths. Those roots drink deeply from the wells of violence that have formed during the long, bloody history of this planet. They infuse our bloodline with the iron will of warriors.

We do not care about odds. When we go to war we do not accept defeat as an option. We are warriors. We will grasp victory by the throat, refusing to loosen our grip until it belongs to us, body and soul. Our enemies will be vanquished, high ground and superior numbers be damned.

There is no other ending to be written to our story.


Greg said...

Well, if he was only complaining on the way home, at least you didn't have to put up with other people looking annoyed by it :) Though I appreciate you still had to listen to him....
While I do like your story today, it feels a little repetitive, which I think is because nothing actually happens in the piece. That said, I think that reflects my preference for activity (I have things to say about Tolkein that would deeply offend many readers, I suspect!).

"I got defiance!" The skinny little thug from Sixticton looked extremely proud of himself, and Jonbow, proprietor of the only wine-bar (attached, naturally enough to a vineyard and winery), scrutinized the glass of wine he'd just served him. It still looked pretty full, and another glance at the bottle's label said that it was only 12% ABV.
"Right?" he said. "Does that involve breaking things?"
They both looked around the room at the heavy wooden furniture, the large, decorative oak barrels that held hundred of gallons when filled, and the solid, comforting weight of the table silverware. Then Jonbow considered the skinny little thug again, and relaxed.
"No," said the thug. "She's coming her by herself."
"Yeah, defiance!"
Jonbow wondered if the thug had been smoking random plants from out back for a minute before a light-bulb went on in his mind.
"Your fiance, by any chance?" he asked, pronouncing the last e as -ay correctly. "You're engaged?"
"Yeah!" said the thug enthusiastically, and Jonbow immediately pitied the poor girl.

ivybennet said...

He twisted his head to the side, spitting out a mouthful of blood. “No.”
The king again punched him. “I told you to yield.”
Val’s grimace morphed into a smirk. If the king wanted to cause him pain, what better way to go against him than reveling in it? He had experienced more pain and misery in his lifetime than the king could ever fathom. He was used to the dull ache in his chest, the swirling hopelessness crushing his insides.
He emptied his mouth of more blood. The king wanted to break him in front of his court? The least Val could do was dirty his floor.
“I have told you, I shall not,” he spoke, his voice low and even. “I was only obeying the prince’s orders to leave him to the kill. As his right hand, it was my sworn duty to do so. It was not my fault the man managed to kill him instead. It was yours for sending him on a fool’s mission.”
Anger flared behind the king’s brown eyes like the flames dancing around the pile of woods the night before a battle. His jaw even betrayed the barest of a tremble. “How dare you imply such a thing? He was my son, the heir to the throne.”
“Yes,” Val responded, “and now he’s dead. You killed him.”
Every other guard in court took a step towards Val, all with the intension of striking down the man offending their king. The king, however, needed to assistance. Blow after blow, he took out his rage and sorrow on Val. Blow after blow, Val remained standing. His blue eyes never left the king’s.

cterp said...

On a normal Sunday morning, the church is nearly empty, and the fifty or so attendees are lost among the semi-circular pews ringing the raised platform. But once a year, during the Christian Science Church Annual Meeting, members come from around the world and pack the church to its capacity, eager to be at The Mother Church, as they call it, to be where their Beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, once never trod. She came close, but she never set foot in the church itself, but they like to picture her here nevertheless.
But we were here. We came even though we were not invited, even though we too were members of the Christian Science Church. We sat quietly throughout the entire service, blending in with the crowd. We took seats near the center of the church, near the center of the main floor, where we knew we would be seen by all when the time came.
There were fewer than a dozen of us among the thousands of members. It was 1984, and we were all gay men and lesbians. We were the hot topic among Christian Scientists that year.
At the end of the service, it is customary for attendees to stand to sing the final hymn, and then sit down again to enjoy the organ as it plays a resounding final piece of music. That is exactly what happened on that day.
Except our little group did not sit down. We remained standing. And by remaining standing, we told everyone that we were there.
And by telling everyone that we were there, they knew who we were.
They knew.
They knew we were “the” gay men and lesbians.
They knew we too were Christian Scientists.
They knew they had to deal with it.
In a world used to throwing bricks through windows to make a point, our gesture seems pathetically inadequate, I know. But the shocked gasps we heard that day made it clear that our action of simply standing in place as the organ played did more to prove our common goodness and decency than years of badgering church officials could have done.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, there was definitely the benefit of a lack of audience to that display. I'm grateful for that.

I was going for a bit of pre-battle motivational speaking, which I think lends itself to some repetition. I may have over done it a bit though.

Hah, I was as confused as Jonbow right up until the end there. Nicely done :)

Ivybennet - powerfully intense scene. Love that final line, it conveys so much.

Cterp - thank you for sharing this with us, it's a wonderful story. I can hardly imagine the bravery required to do something as seemingly simple as standing up.