Friday, 5 April 2013

Royal Oak


http://rochellewisofffields.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/gnarled-tree.jpg
Image by Indira

Royal Oak



I viewed the man along the smooth ash shaft. My arm muscles twitched as I held tension in the string.

“Come down, face the people’s justice.” Ordered the Captain.

“Would you harm me and face God’s justice?”

“Enough talk, Tyrant. Take him – Now!”

The arrow flew true. He staggered as it buried to the fletching in his chest, pitching forward, like a string cut marionette, before snagging on a broken branch and swinging, showering grass with vermilion raindrops.

“Inform the Lord Protector the prince has been executed; and fell this for firewood – there’ll be no Royal Oaks in this Commonwealth.”

This story was written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers  Challenge

18 comments:

  1. Nick, wonderful story. I enjoyed your description of the arrow hitting its target, especially, "showering grass with vermilion raindrops." That was exquisite.

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    1. Thanks Amy. I tried to let 'tension' be a golden thread running through all aspects of the piece.

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  2. Nick, you imagined a story no one else has imagined. I like your description of the blood and the two different ideas of justice. I think you might want to say his "muscles" quivered, since more than one arm muscle would be involved but hey, that's just my PE background coming into play. Are you an archer?

    janet

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    1. Thanks Janet. You're quite right - even I have more than one muscle! I did some bow hunting with the forces many years ago, and have a powerful recollection of how much effort it took, and I was young and very fit in those days. I also remember being told how much lighter the draw weight was on modern bows as compared to the sheer brute power of the old English Longbow, which may well be beyond the capability of many today.

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  3. Good story. You shared a lot in the 100 words. Nice job.

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    1. Thanks Kim. It's one of the pleasant challenges of flash, where, like with poetry, you need to cram each word with meaning and make every one work really hard.

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  4. Now that's what I call a tree hugger - someone who's prepared to die for his belief. That penultimate paragraph is a masterpiece. Well done.

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    1. Hi Sandra. Another of my alternative histories. What would have happened if the Crown Prince (Charles the Second after the restoration) had not escaped from the Parliamentary forces by hiding in a tree - hence the profusion of 'Royal Oak' pubs in the UK?

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  5. Dear Nick
    A rather grisly tale. "vermilion raindrops". now there's a bit of imagery. An interesting POV as well. Good job.
    Shalom,
    Rochelle

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  6. What a terrific tale! I was there! Of course I kept my mouth shut, just in case. Seriously though this was very descriptive. You really brought your characters and the scene to life. Well done. :)

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    1. Thanks jwd. I was trying for a story that mirrored the tension in the bow string.

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  7. The description of the prince's execution was so vivid that I really saw the gruesome scene in my mind. The way you depicted the scene contained just enough telling details, particular details, that it immediately opened the world up in my imagination. This was really excellent.

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    1. Thank you very much for taking time to pop in and to comment!

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  8. "The arrow flew true. He staggered as it buried to the fletching in his chest, pitching forward, like a string cut marionette, before snagging on a broken branch and swinging, showering grass with vermilion raindrops." Powerful. Good story.

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    1. Cheers vb. I enjoyed writing this one. I'm pleased that you liked it

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  9. Great story! The language is so powerful.

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    1. Thanks Kristin! I had fun with it.

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