Monday April 14th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: allegiances.

As the only Canadian NHL team to make the playoffs, I'll be switching my allegiances to the Montreal Canadiens for the next little while. Though it won't be a particularly difficult change, as they are my dad's favorite team.

In other hockey news, it looks like Vancouver's Daniel Sedin dodged a bullet yesterday.

I was back out in the garden this afternoon, getting a start on mulching our garlic. That's always a big job but it was good to get going on it.


In the throne room he conducted himself with a quiet confidence. Every movement was sure and precise, without hesitation or show of nerves. His commands were crisp and clear, carrying to every corner of the vast space without being a decibel louder than was required.

Servants scurried to and fro, desperate to anticipate even his smallest needs in order to avoid grueling punishments. His advisor was knowledgeable without being arrogant, his wife a queen envied by all of the kings of the neighbouring lands. Guards stood always ready, swords sharp enough to split hairs, prepared to strike down any and all challengers.

But it was those same guards that kept him awake long into the night, unable to accept the comfort of his bed. And their deadly, gleaming swords waited for him to fall into fitful dreams in which the hairs they were splitting were attached to his head.

They were loyal, he kept telling himself. There had never been the slightest indication that would suggest otherwise. And still, and still...

Just how far did their allegiance truly go?


Greg said...

At least you have a team in the playoffs, and supporting your dad's team isn't really a betrayal... ;-) And yes, it looks like Daniel Sedin was indeed quite lucky!
Heh, that's a nice take on the Damoclean sword, and I like how you've described the King's life. Almost, almost idyllic :)

"It's my cabin," said Debbie-Sue again, though the man in the doorway hadn't moved an inch. "That's what the bank says. Damn straight and bang to rights."
"I heard you," said the man. He shifted his weight, favouring his left foot. His hands stayed well away from his pockets, in line of sight of Debbie-Sue's eyes. "I'm staying right here, on the stoop, jus' talking to you. Friendly-like."
"Hah. And you'll be saying next that I wouldn't like you if you weren't friendly."
"Debbie-Sue, you don't like me when I'm doing my job, but I'm here because that job needs doing. And John is missing now and you've been here only five minutes, yet that pot yonder is boiling like it's been set up right thirty minutes ago. So, being as it's my job to deduct and all, that says to me that someone else was here before you."
Debbie-Sue's eyes wandered to the threadbare rug that covered some of the splintered boards that floored the cabin, and her jaw moved like she was chewing on something.
"Ayup," she said slowly. "Happen that's as must be. But it weren't John; he'd be waitin' for me if it was."
"And you ain't scared, Debbie-Sue," said the man. He shifted his weight again. "So you must know who was here, or that they're right gone again."
"Ayup," she said, slower still. She stared intently at the rug, as though she could see through it to something underneath. Then, suddenly, she lifted her head and looked straight at the man in the doorway. "Definitely gone, Dep'ty," she said.
He nodded, looking down at the rug himself, noticing for the first time that it looked like it had been thrown down on the floor from underneath. Debbie-Sue had chosen her allegiance.
"You still can't come in while it's my house," she said. Her eyes darted to the window to a stand of trees. "So you be gettin' off now."
The Deputy nodded. "Thank-you kindly," he said softly.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I suppose...

Heh, I do so enjoy Debbie-Sue's dialogue :D

Wonderfully understated scene, with some very nice touches.