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Eamon’s Way – Kurylian Saga Serial #1

  • Posted on January 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm

At the suggestion of my writing mentor, the lovely Chris Votey, I’ve been doing some practice writing short stories. So I’ll be doing a short serial of flash fiction set in the same world as my Kurylian Saga, a book I intend to publish very soon. This practice is meant to get me used to the world again, to get me used to writing short fiction, and to improve my writing in general. Please, let me know if you notice any grueling inconsistancies, or any sort of growth whatsoever. Thank you!


 

When Eamon asked him to hit her hard, she hadn’t quite anticipated a gauntlet to the back of her head. It sent her reeling, certainly, but it was a credit to her balance that she didn’t end up on her ass. Years of training told her to not waste a moment in combat, and she quickly turned towards her opponent, swinging her practice sword at his shin.

Herod hissed, bouncing on his good foot, shaking the armoured leg she’d managed to strike. The impact caused a noticeable ringing noise. She was pleased, a ring of the armour, for the ringing of her head, she had thought to herself.

She pressed her sudden advantage, and kicked his bouncing leg out from under him. From there it was easy to press her practice sword to his throat.

His eyes confirmed what she already knew. She had finally won against Herod the Giant. The smashing headache caused by his gauntlet disappeared as she tore off her helmet, and only out of respect for where the armor had come from, didn’t toss it to the side. Instead, she set it down next to her, then removed the sword from his throat, and offered her hand to help Herod to his feet. Herod refused, getting himself up. They both went to a bucket filled with water, and dipped their hands in. The pain of their bruises hurt worse in the cold water, but was necessary to their recovery.

“Good show, Lady Eamon,” he stated.

Eamon was surprised. A new title from him. Herod usually called her “Lil Miss”. She gave him a rueful smile. “Near knocked me on my ass, Sir Herod. But I finally did it. I finally had you on your back.”

“Aye, you did,” he acknowledged.

He patted her shoulder the same way her father might have, and her smile grew brighter. She didn’t feel like the fourteen year old squire anymore. She felt twenty feet tall.

“Same time next week then?” she asked.

She had been sparring with Herod for several months now. Before that was Jurin, though Jurin didn’t have the size Herod had. He was wirey and thin. And before him was Minna, stout and quick with a mace. Each one she fought, and each one she bested. She was determined to be a real fighter, like her father.

“I think not, milady. I think I’ll be informin’ your father that you’re ready.”

Her thoughts ground to a halt, and her breath did too. “You mean…”

“Yeah,”Herod interjected. “I think you’re ready for the Trials.”

She swallowed, and kept at bay the tears that threatened to spill. She felt she was ready for the title of Knighthood, but to hear Heroid caused her to choke up a bit. If Herod thought she was ready, surely her father would agree with him. All she had to do was pass the trial, and she would be a Knight of Kuryle, a true defender of the realm. If she could prove her bravery, her mettle in combat, and her valor, then surely they would allow her to be named a Knight.

She couldn’t wait to tell Saras the good news.

 

Breaking Down Nemesis: Part Four

  • Posted on August 27, 2014 at 8:31 am

Welcome again, to another installment of Breaking Down Nemesis! Once again, we are here to learn and experience Miss Agatha Christie’s work, and perhaps find a link to the elusive Agatha Christie Code that I keep hearing about. Essentially, the idea is to break down and discover if an Agatha Christie novel really is addictive! For this experiment in literature, I’ve chosen a random novel from her Miss Marple series, titled Nemesis. 

If you’re lost already, please see Part One, Part Two, and Part Three for the previous installments, that way you can keep up with the mystery as it unravels! And don’t forget to subscribe to see future installments, as well!

In the beginning of this chapter, we are introduced to Miss Marple’s sneaky side. In chapter three, we get to see her be sneaky when she asks Cherry, her assistant, to phone Mrs. Anderson, in order to find out if she’s at home, or out and about. This plan included a caveat that was to have Cherry inform Miss Anderson that she, Cherry, was Mr. Broadribb (Mr. Rafiel’s lawyer)’s secretary, and that she was to meet him at his office, but only if Miss Anderson was out and not to be back today.

The brilliance of that plan still makes me giggle. Honestly, it sounds a little like something I’d have done when playing Dungeons and Dragons, and setting up a trap for someone! Unluckily for us, we don’t get to see how that might have played out. I’d like to point out that this sort of organic thinking is coming a bit more often now. Or maybe we’re beginning to understand Miss Marple’s thought process a lot clearer, now that we’re actually involved in her investigation? Miss Christie certainly has me by the ear.

It turns out that Mrs. Anderson was out shopping at the supermarket. And who should she collide with, but Miss Marple herself! And as if the old codger wasn’t planning the whole thing, the two of them talk as if they’ve just run into each other. Instead of having the conversation she wants to have right there, Miss Marple instead arranges to visit Mrs. Anderson at home, instead.

Now, this might seem odd, but if you think about it, honestly, Miss Marple has the right idea. Mrs. Anderson will be more comfortable at home, and we might get to see what it was that the two of them are so at-arms with each other about. I can’t wait to find out myself!

The two exchange pleasantries for a little bit, and then Miss Marple seems to try to slide small questions in there, to find out more about Mr. Rafiel’s supposed request. She also takes a moment to notice that the oppulence of Mrs. Anderson’s new home, and connected it with a possible inheritance by Mrs. Anderson from Mr. Rafiel. Miss Marple asks if he left anything to the Nurse-Attendant Jackson, and finds out no he did not, and Mrs. Anderson hasn’t even seen the gentleman since they worked together.

Another series of questions by Miss Marple, and I’m beginning to see that she has a bit of a built in camouflage.

“…I was thinking it only the other day, after I’d seen the notice of his death. I wished I could know a little more. Where he was born, you know, and his parents. What they were like. Whether he had any children, or nephews or cousins or any family. I would so like to know.”

Esther Anderson smiled slightly. She looked at Miss Marple and her expression seemed to say “Yes, I’m sure you always want to know everything of that kind about everyone you meet.”

We’re getting more hints as to how people see her. Mrs. Anderson clearly thinks of Miss Marple as someone who is overly curious. But it’s tempered by the old-woman camouflage I was talking about. Everyone expects her to be nosy, because that’s how old women are! Take this lesson to heart. Let your characters use their own camouflages. If a woman wears glasses, let her put her hair in a bun, and pretend seriousness, despite her real personality. If a man has a raspy voice, let him pretend that he is dark and dangerous, when necessary. And when a person looks younger than they really are, let them use that childishness to their advantage to make others underestimate them! Remind yourself constantly of who they appear to be to others, so that this can be turned one-eighty and used against them!

The two go on to discuss more information, specifically about how Mr. Rafiel lost his wife long ago, but had three living children. Two daughters, and a son. One of the daughters married, and now lives in america, and the other daughter died, very young. It turns out there was trouble between father and son!

Picture Courtesy of bildungblog.blogspot.com

Picture Courtesy of bildungblog.blogspot.com

Apparently, the son was a scandalous sort, and died a few years ago. Mr. Rafiel never spoke of him. Odd that a deceased son, who was involved in scandals shows up just as Miss Marple is looking for a mystery, don’t you think? However, the two of them quickly come to a derailment, as the events at St. Honore get brought up again! And it turns out that Mrs. Anderson is still upset with something Miss Marple did in the Caribbean, but instead of actually discussing it, Mrs. Anderson stares coldly at Miss Marple, who takes her leave.

After leaving Mrs. Anderson’s home, Miss Marple determines that maybe, just maybe she was wrong to visit Mrs. Anderson, and thinks that perhaps there’s nothing to do with her at all in this mystery. I’m not quite so sure, but I think Miss Christie wrote it that way. I still can’t tell if this is a red-herring, or if I’m honestly right when I think that Mrs. Anderson is going to have something to do with it.

Eventually, after doubting herself a little bit, she comes to the same conclusion I have, which is that her old-lady-camouflage is a wonderful trait to have, and that she comes to recognize what people are like, based on who they remind her of. After that, she goes to sleep, thinking that it is entirely up to Mr. Rafiel to give her some sort of sign as to what exactly she is supposed to be doing.

This chapter in general, I think, was to show us more of Miss Marple’s character. I’m not sure anything really got done, other than, perhaps, clearing Mrs. Anderson of suspicion, and refusing to hand us any real clues as to what it is that Miss Marple is really supposed to be doing. Another point towards the Agatha Christie Code, as I was told that there was to be a lot of description, and slowness getting to the main plot. Which this chapter seems to embody quite a bit.

I find myself, however, instead of growing intrigued, growing a little bit bored of it. I’m starting to wonder, just like Miss Marple, if there really is any mystery to be solving at all! Which, I’m not sure if that’s a good way for a mystery novel to begin. However, dear reader, I will slog on, in order to find out! Just for you!

Please, however, do me a favor! In the comments, give me an idea or two of what you think the mystery is going to be! Do you think it’s Mr. Rafiel’s deceased son? Do you think Mrs. Anderson perhaps murdered someone? Do you think something entirely different is going to happen? Let me know!

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