Saturday is my favourite day of the week (how original!). Seriously, not only do I only have one lesson - English, which happens to be my favourite, but, for the first time in five days, I actually have time to do something other than scribble furiously on horrible school essays!
Like scribble furiously at my own stories, bahaha!
Anyway, what I chose to work on today was one of the stories from my 2011 NaNoWriMo project, the Thirteenth Line, and the lead character for this particular tale, The Choice, is Vidal, whom you may remember from this post and whose backstory is explained in Stormlord's Song, as it is called in later years by his people. His story's a complicated one - not in the least because he's probably rather a lot brighter than I am, and a lot more apathetic with it. But, on the whole, he's really quite good fun to write - not in the least because he can say pretty much whatever the heck he wants, and get away with it because everybody's too scared of him to try anything else!
Unfortunately, Vidal does have one little chink in his armour - he lies. And I don't just mean pointing the finger at someone else when the cookies mysteriously vanish from out of the jar, I mean whopping great monstrosities that could probably take up most of the rooms in an oil tanker and sink it like a stone. His lies are his shield against his true vulnerability, and he's made sure they're convincing enough to convince everyone.
Enter Falladan Greysong, one of the most powerful family patriarchs in Tanelorn. Cunning, opportunistic and politically invincible, he's not the type to let an illegitimate half-breed get above his station. Especially when Falladan himself put him in that station.
Needless to say, events took a nasty turn for Vidal...
“You’ve underestimated every one of them, and if they so much as get a sniff of what you’ve been doing then your powerbase will collapse and we’ll be food for the crows before the week is out. You’ve made a mistake, Falladan Greysong. A very bad mistake.”
Falladan looked at Vidal in silence for a few moments, then he let out a great sigh and banged loudly on the top of the table three times. Too late, Vidal recognised a signal, and before he had a chance to bolt for the door, three of the King’s Guard had burst in through the door behind the throne. Vidal reached for his knives, but before he could draw one he was seized from all sides and dragged, hissing and shrieking in fury, to Falladan’s feet. All trace of discomfort was gone from the Regent’s face, replaced with an icy smile.
“On the contrary,” said Falladan, “It is you who has made the mistake here, crossblood. I honestly thought you knew me better than that.” He looked to the guards, “Hold him down.”
“What are you doing? Get your hands off me!” Vidal struggled like a mad thing, but the combined might of the Guards was more than he could hope to overcome, and a swift, sharp blow to his abdomen knocked all the wind out of him. As he struggled for air, he felt the hard edge of the table digging into the small of his back as his arms were spread wide and pinned beneath the painful grip of gauntleted hands. Vidal tried to kick them, but the touch of something cold and sharp against his neck soon dissuaded him from that idea.
Falladan chuckled, “You’re not half as cunning as you’d like to think, are you Bastard? If you’re blind enough to come storming in here and make accusations that I have, of all things, made a mistake, then you clearly haven’t been paying enough attention of late. You tell me I have been a fool in starting a war. Well, let me tell you this – just because you didn’t know about it doesn’t mean I wasn’t planning it. You’re not the only knife I have in my belt, Vidal. And you’re certainly not the sharpest.”
Vidal’s eyes widened, “You actually want the city to tear itself apart?”
“Give me more credit than that,” Falladan laughed, and the knife edge trembled worryingly against Vidal’s neck. “The Rhydel will be gone before the week is out. If you had been here when I wanted you, you would have known that. Where were you all those days, Vidal? I had word you’d left the city, and I couldn’t help but make a few … presumptions.” The knife slid lazily across Vidal’s throat, and Falladan pressed the point to the throbbing vein beneath his jaw. “I would be most appreciative if you would care to tell me of your escapades.”
“For your information, I was busy covering your tracks. If I’m not your sharpest knife, I dread to think what opinion you hold of my cognitive abilities. At least I have the sense to hide the bodies.”
Falladan snarled, and a little hiss broke through Vidal’s gritted teeth as the knife dug worryingly into his skin, “Don’t be clever with me. In case you hadn’t noticed, your life isn’t exactly in the steadiest of hands at the moment. I’m not as young as I was, and I might be prone to a few unfortunate slips if you upset me.”
Vidal glared vengefully at Falladan. “I’m not here to kiss your arse, Greysong. You’ve got the rest of your pet worms for that. Ah!” A flash of pain and wetness ran down the side of Vidal’s neck as Falladan’s knife tore through the skin.
“Keep that filthy tongue of yours under control, or so help me I will cut it out and choke you with it. You’ve rather a high opinion of yourself if you think I give a sniff for your worthless existence. I think it’s time you learnt that.” Falladan shifted his knife and pressed it gradually over the thin flesh of Vidal’s white-furred ear. “Let’s start here.”
Watch your tongue, dear readers. You never know where it might land you...