Here's the latest installment of Scorpius' back story.
For the Weekend Writer's Retreat, I'm following the boyhood back story of an adult character I'm writing for a dark fantasy.
You can follow the progress of this story arc by clicking on the Works in Progress link just under the blog header.
“My lord Zorjak,” Richolf said, bowing deeply and elegantly.
Scorpius watched them from his hiding place. They turned to regard the body of the slain nobleman in the clearing.
“Very sad affair, my lord.”
“Yes, it is. Yes. Sad indeed.”
The two men moved out of Scorpius’ view. This time he resisted the urge to follow. The new lord didn’t seem bent on striking his master, yet the deadly fight between the nobles replayed itself in his mind without mercy. Richolf had told him to stay put, and this time he knew why he must hug the shadows.
The men’s voices buzzed in the distance. Still no shouting. Scorpius’ own breath sounded loud to him in the quiet cottage, his mouth pressed close against the cabinet door.
Finally the lord strutted into the cottage, followed respectfully by Scorpius’ master and the dog. Richolf gave a quick signal to the animal, which instantly lay down out of the way. It settled its head on its paws, though its eyes strayed to Scorpius’ hiding place.
But the nobleman paid no heed whatsoever to the falconer’s dog. He allowed Richolf to draw a chair out for him, settled himself upon it and gazed over at Scorpius’ master. “What do we do about it, then, do you suppose?”
“May I offer you a drink, my lord?”
A slight nod sent Richolf to fetch a goblet and fill it with wine. Lord Zorjak took a long sip, then rubbed his forehead with pinching fingers.
“Might I suggest, my lord, and I know this may sound disturbing…”
The nobleman gazed wearily at the goblet. “This entire business makes the blood recoil in my veins.”
Richolf nodded. “Well then, my lord, I encountered a great-horn not three days hence.”
Lord Zorjak’s fingers tightened around the goblet’s bowl.
“If we leave the body close to where it was sighted, the dragon will fly off with a meal and the unfortunate lord will have suffered a gruesome hunting accident.”
The nobleman lifted the goblet to stare for a long moment into its depths. With a quick swig he downed its contents and brought the cup down hard upon the table.
“You think my brother deserves to be pecked to pieces by carrion?” he asked.
“I think my lord deserves a chance to survive his brother,” Richolf answered.
Scorpius watched in confused fascination as tears spilled down the nobleman’s pale face.
© Julia Smith 2010
Janet says An interesting twist - a brother has inherited! And what to do with the body?
Debby says This looks like a great read.
Travis Cody says And Scorpius learns more about political intrigue, even within families.