Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Now the probing dark eyes looked on Ušni’s face but no longer on the world

Across the river and not far from the great oak forest P’s slayer also wept. He had brought H’s body to the princess and the duke. H. of U., the noble hostage and brave fighter, had been a romantic figure to the young F. of V. They both intended to be brothers in glory, fighting for the princess and Fjorn. They had sworn eternal friendship and sealed it in blood, promising to tell their children and grandchildren about each other’s exploits. But H. would have no wife, no children, no grandchildren. F. had lost his friend.

While F., the muscle-bound younger brother of a character in the first two books, is four years into his manhood he is still only nineteen years old. To him this journey to fight with and for friends is a grand adventure. He formed a bond with a somewhat older but still young man who shared his romantic view of the glory of fighting. They were united in a cause and eager to make names for themselves.

We come to the day when harsh reality intrudes, when the former hostage and son of the late Lord Marshall of the principality engages a key player in the tale and is slain. F. avenges the friend he looks up to by killing his hero's killer. With a sword thrust through the back. Hardly the "honorable" way to kill, though immediately effective. F. takes his fallen oath-brother back to the camp, overcome with grief and shame.

Yes, I got soppy writing this scene. Fran can testify I was soppy writing an earlier scene between the princess and H. (back when we were at Doxy's wedding weekend).

Still, three events in one day have turned the tide in the battle for the throne. A lot of twists and turns to pursue before a new Black Lion sits on that throne and is acclaimed.

Of course it's an anti-war story, sillies.

Sweet dreams, my winsome wolverines!

--the BB


The Cunning Runt said...

I'm generally speechless when you share your writing here, but tonight I just have to say that this is thrilling, knowing where your heart lives and where this might (must) lead.

Bravo, my friend!

Paul said...

Thank you, CR. I knew sundry shit would come down on the 22nd day of the Herb Month. I always know, when I start a new story, that not all the characters will survive. Sometimes I know which ones will make it and which will fall. At other times it comes as a surprise. There is an inevitability to it. Perhaps I tell of fictive deaths and weep for them because it is too real and too raw to grieve the "real" deaths in our lives - the death of loved ones, the death of strangers, the death of relationships, the death of dreams.

Amid the layers of fiction, these fictional tales have fictive historical sources - various chronicles, poems, sagas, romances. Months ago I postulated a famous lament for H. who, as is so often the case in actual literary history, dies young and gloriously only to be immortalized in verse. So this is the short prose narrative based on the ancient poem. I don't know if I will ever write the English version of that poem but the source will be mentioned in the Redactor's Afterword.

I really do aspire to getting all these in print eventually but for now I am just dashing off the first draft to get the story told.