Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Back to Torment Y'all....

My mother requested another excerpt, so I guess as a 25k party, celebration, uh, thing, you will find an excerpt at the bottom of this post.

News for the day:

Word War III starts at 5:00 CST. Sharpen you ink-stained swords and prepare for battle! Yaarrgh!!

Heh heh.

It snowed! It's mostly all melted now, but there was a good dusting of snow this morning that we all got to play in.

Okay, that might not be a big deal for some of you, but I live in the Pacific NW. A single snowflake is a big deal, okay? Heh. And it stuck, too, instead of melting when it hit the ground! *Bonus Points!!*

My mom is making pumpkin cookies. The dough I licked off the spatula was great... thanks Mom!

I'm hearing the vacuum downstairs. Groundbreaking news, I know. (yeah right!)

I have to go do my math now.

I bid all ye fair people farewell... and enjoy the following excerpt! 'Tis short, but sweet. Okay, *not* sweet... just short. On second thought, it's not really all that short either. Whatever. Proceed!

**note this excerpt is unedited** **note this excerpt is unedited** **note this excerpt is unedited**

   Refugees trickled in, each with a more horrifying story than the one before. Within a matter of days, the villagers of Belham began to look furtively over their shoulders, peering at the skies suspiciously, afraid to hear what those townspeople of Channery heard; afraid to see what they saw.
   Then, one afternoon, a cry went up, and several people pointed toward the ridge of hills to the northeast of the village. There, against the blue of the sky, was a curving, sinister, winged figure. It glided toward those hills and disappeared among them.
   Mayhem broke loose in the village. Some were talking of leaving, others wanted to seek a knight to help them, still others (the misguided ones) said that if the dragon was ignored, it wouldn’t be a bother. And then there were those, like Chance and his father, who listened to all the others’ chatter, and kept their thoughts to themselves.
   Whilst the village was in an uproar, William and Chance were quietly eating their supper. Chance held his empty mug between his fingers and tilted it back and forth, glancing from it’s empty bottom to his father’s furrowed brow. “If it attacks, you’ll fight it, won’t you?”
   The question shook William out of whatever he was in. “What did you say?” he demanded, his voice harsh from surprise.
   Carefully, Chance said, “You told me that knighthood was nothing to you because there was no reason to jousts or melees. You knew you could fight even better than your brother if there was a reason for it. Isn’t a dragon reason enough?”
   Impatiently, William sighed. “I haven’t held a sword for fifteen years, you forget, Chance.”
   Chance looked at him in disbelief. “That shouldn’t stop you. Aside from the fact that you have the blood of one of the greatest knights in your veins, you are the only one here with even the slightest capability to save us. You were Sir William, father!”
Chance slapped his hands flat on the table for emphasis. “There is absolutely no doubt that that dragon is going to attack. Are you just going to stand aside and watch it destroy everything we hold dear?” Chance’s voice wavered as he thought of his dead friend. “What about Master Kieran? And Dev?”
   William stared at him. Then he stared at the fire. Then he stared at the table.
   “Alright, young sir. What about a weapon? I broke my sword, you know. I put knighthood behind me.” The last sentence had a little extra emphasis behind it.
   “You’re a blacksmith, father! Weld it!”
   “I can’t kill a dragon, Chance!”
   “Yes you can! Who are you, father?”
   William cocked his head suspiciously. “What did you say?”
   “Who are you, father?” Chance didn’t wait for a reply. “You are the son of Sir George the Dragon Slayer! You are Sir William! If that dragon has anyone to fear, it’s you.” Chance paused to take in a breath. “I don’t believe you were made into a knight, father. You were born one.”
   William glared at him. “Good God, I can’t win, can I?” Then he chuckled wryly.
   “You certainly know a good deal about knighthood, for one so young as you.”
   Chance flushed. “I only—”
   “I understand, son.” William rose from the table. “The thought was gnawing at me from the moment you told me Goodwife Eluned’s story. I was once a knight, and it appears I must be one again.” William stood up. “Come on, I’ll need you at the bellows.”
   They worked in the shop all through the night, and to Chance, it felt as if he had just closed his eyes when suddenly they were open again. Moaning, he sat up, his bleary eyes noting the pale, early daylight creeping in through the windows. His father was not there; but Chance supposed he was outside in the shop. Chance was already dressed, and he threw a short cloak over his tunic and jerkin and stepped out the door.
   There was a tension in the air, an anticipation. Though the villagers were going about their normal business as they were encouraged to, their faces reflected what Chance felt. Then he thought he heard a noise above the roof. He glanced up.
   Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was an earsplitting roar. It was a scream of challenge; a battle cry. The ominous beating of wings was heard overhead, and the villagers looked up. The bolder, braver ones did so willingly, while the others looked up without meaning to, and they wished that they hadn’t. The sight of the beast, gliding overhead, sent shafts of terror into every man’s heart.
   Chance gulped, and the breath left him. What a terrifying, horrible, beautiful beast.
   “Chance,” his father motioned him over. He saw that the box was open, and William was sifting through the pieces of armor.
   “You're going to have to help me get this stuff on, alright?"
   “Alright." Chance laughed, "It's time for you to be a knight, and me to be a squire, eh?"
   It was an incredibly long, arduous process, as Chance knew nothing about putting on armour, and William hadn't worn any for fifteen years, but eventually, they got it all on.
   “The greaves now, Chance.”
   Chance peered into the box. “Not here, father.”
   “What…” William thought for a second. “Oh goodness, I turned them both into knife blades awhile ago. Yes, I remember now.” He chuckled. “Yes, and there’s only one gardbrace in there. I made Thomas’ knife with that. Hm, certainly convenient.”
   Chance fastened the last available piece of armor on, and his father sucked in a breath.
   “I was thinner fifteen years ago," William groaned. Chance laughed loudly, more from nervousness than anything else. He handed William his helm, which he stowed under his arm. Then Chance handed his the shield, which bore the Red Crosse. In quiet awe, he presented it to his father.
   “Thank you, lad." William took it in one hand. Then he placed the helm on his head, and reached for his sword, which was lying on the anvil. It had no sheath.
   “Where is the dragon?" William asked. Chance ran out to the street, scanning the skies.
   “It's circling over our heads," he called back. It's east of us right now.”
   William headed for the back door of the shop. On impulse, Chance ran up to him and put a hand on his shoulder. “Father? I... I love you."
   William smiled a tight, wry smile, his eyes returning the words. Then he lowered his helm and strode out. Chance ran around to the back of the house. His father was striding onto the wide field beside the village. At that moment, Chance wished his father had a horse. A knight riding a horse was much more... heroic... than one awkwardly staggering out onto the battlefield. And his father was quite the sight, what with no armor on his lower legs, and a piece of armor missing from his right shoulder, he looked a patched-up version of a knight. And yet, Chance saw a noble beauty shining through his father’s curious appearance, and his heart swelled for him.
   The dragon saw William's raised sword and answered the challenge with a hideous, shrieking roar. Chance's ears ached. He heard the whispered words of the villagers gathered behind him.
   “Who is that knight?"
   “His shield has the emblem of Sir George!"
   “It's Sir George?"
   “Gor, I dunno! Maybe.”
   “He's going to kill the dragon, ain't he?"
   Chance felt someone nudge his back. Looking up, he saw Thomas' grizzled face. “Where's your father, boy? Too scared of that dragon to come and watch?"
   The lad felt utter contempt for the tanner at that moment. He scowled fiercely. “That's my father out there, you weedy, half-faced…!” Chance kept himself from continuing the insult, but barely. “He's out there saving you! Not like you deserve it..."
   Thomas gripped his shirt and spun him around. “You don’t talk like that to me, boy.” His voice was dangerous. Chance glared hot-headedly at him, neither speaking. Then Thomas released his hold.
   “Ack,” Thomas scowled at him and stalked away. Chance gave Thomas’ back one more withering look and turned to watch his father and the dragon.
   The dragon swooped down to earth, menacingly silent. The dragon and knight circled each other. Slowly. Warily. The dragon hissed and let out a little spurt of fire. Sir William raised his shield a little.
   Then, the dragon roared a deafening roar, and lunged for his adversary, spewing fire...

To be continued.... muah ha ha....

1 comment:

Squeaks said...

Wow...that's absolutely...epic

*stares in awe at dragon lunging at man*