Welcome to Three Word Thursday #42. If you enjoy reading my story, leave a comment then click on the names of the other players and go see how they used these bygone words. You’ll be entertained (and possibly educated) all at once.
scaevity: unluckiness, left-handedness
gnathonize: to flatter
roblet: to lead astray
from episode: #41
Evaard stepped aside, far aside, as Ranold approached the cabin door.
“Dragons are pamphagous, are they not?” Evaard asked.
Ranold paused with his hand upon the door latch. “Yes, they are,” he said. “Why do you ask.”
Evaard waved his hand toward the mountain. “It may not be related, but yesterday I talked to a farmer from the next valley and he said his cattle were disappearing.”
Ranold said, “Not an hour ago I talked to an old drunk who said the dragon came this way. Perhaps you are trying to distract me?”
Evaard laughed and motioned toward the cabin door. “Please, go in and you will know the truth.
Ranold lifted the latch and pushed on the door.
“Help! Help!” Vernal stumbled from the woods. Hair mussed, tunic torn, leaves and brambles sticking to his leggings, he collapsed beside the water trough at the feet of the warriors. “Dragons!” He panted, pointing toward the ridge. “Huge!” And then he fainted.
“See!” Evaard looked at Ranold while pointing toward the boy. “That is the very way I told you the dragon’s had gone.”
The warriors splashed water on Vernal and pulled him to his feet. Ranold strode forward. “How many dragons boy? What color? And was there a Knight with them.”
Vernal stared at the warriors wide-eyed and apparently awed to find himself suddenly subject to their undivided attention.
Evaard, certain this was an attempt to roblet the mages, wondered if the boy was about to give the show away.
Ranold reached out, grasped Vernal by the front of his tunic, and lifted the boy to his toes. “Speak boy!”
Vernal raised his trembling hand and pointed to the ridge. “P-p-purple.” He stammered.
The mage warriors murmured amongst themselves. Several prepared their horses to ride.
Ranold eased the boys heels to the ground but kept his grip on the tunic. “And a Knight? Was there a Knight with the dragon?”
Vernal tried to shrug. “A man.” He said. “If he was a Knight, I saw no cloak or phalerae.”
Ranold pulled the boy close and studied him carefully. Evvard noticed sweat beading on Vernal’s lip. The boy was genuinely afraid, yet still holding the charade. Evvard wondered if he could have managed such a task as a brand new page.
Ronald turned his gaze from Vernal’s face, but did not loose his hold on the boy. “Loget,” he said to one of the men, “Take five men over the ridge and search for the dragon. The rest of us will remain here.
Loget nodded curtly and pointed to several men. They swung into their saddles and rode away.
“Fan out!” Ronald told the remaining mages, “Search the parameter. Fronesk, you stay here. Don’t take your eyes off that one.” He pointed at Evvard. Fronesk was shorter than Evvard, but much broader across the shoulders.
Ronald turned his cold black gaze on Vernal and just stared for several minutes. The boy trembled. “Tell me,” Ronald said softly, “How is it that a common boy knows enough of Knighthood to identify a phalerae?”
Evaard ‘s optimism took a dramatic plunge.
However, Vernal was not one to give up. Despite his awkward position and trembling limbs, he raised his chin and answered “I studied to be a page, but the king would not take me. My father was a common farmer.”
Ronald stared at Vernal for another long moment. The boy met his gaze defiantly. Suddenly Ronald released him. “Not good enough, ay?” Ronal taunted.
Vernal stumbled and almost plunged into the water trough. He collapsed against the pump and hung on. “I am good enough!” He said, hanging from the handle.
Ronald laughed. “Of course you are boy. You are strong, level-headed and quite brave. I will take you as my page. You can study to be a Mage Warrior. What say you to that?”
Vernal grinned like a fool. “Really?” He exclaimed. “You would take me in? Train me to be a Mage Warrior? What would you have of me? When would my duties begin?”
“Now,” Ronald said, answering the second question first. He looked at Fronesk and nodded. The stocky warrior moved surprisingly fast. He grabbed Evaard, twisted his arm painfully into the small of his back and pinned him to the the cabin wall. Evvard cursed his scaevity.
Ronald drew a dagger from his belt and handed it to Vernal. “You must be blooded to serve a Mage Warrior.” He jerked his chin toward Evvard. “Kill him.”
Vernal looked uncertainly from the knife to Evaard, then turned his gaze to Ronald. “But why would I kill him? I don’t even know him.”
“A page does not question,” Ronald said. “He obeys. Kill him!”
Vernal advanced on Evaard.
“It is a trick boy!” Evaard exclaimed. “You’ve been gnathonized into doing their dirty work.They’ll kill you, too, you know!”
Vernal clenched his fist, drew his arm back, and plunged the knife forward. Cutting through bone and muscle, he buried it to the hilt between Fronesk’s shoulder blades. Ronald barely had time to register what happened before a knife plunged into his own back. He fell face first into the mud beside the water trough.
Chevall emerged from the woods. “Glad I haven’t lost my throwing arm he said.”
Evaard tossed Fronesk’s body aside and grabbed Vernal just as the boy heaved. “The first one is always hardest,” he said.
Vernal shuddered. “When … when will this pass?” He heaved again.
Evvard urged the boy toward the water pump. “If you’re one of the lucky ones, it’ll stay with you forever. That’s what keeps you from killing any more often than you have to.”
Vernal plunged his hands in the water trough and splashed his face to hide his tears.
The 3WT #43 words will be: by special request, whatever words you wish to use from the list to date.
Got it? Good! In that case: Your story is due on: February 04th, 2010
Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com. Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at http://charlene-amsden.com.