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.
The nobleman would not leave. He stayed far into the night, even though he’d arrived at the falconer’s cottage with several other men. His guard remained outside, speaking in low tones.
Scorpius had paid attention at first while his master spoke with Lord Zorjak. Richolf served wine, nodded, and gave an opinion from time to time.
But it was so late. Scorpius couldn’t keep his eyes open. Leaning his head against the cabinet door, he slid uneasily into sleep, until the door unlatched under his weight and he tumbled cross-eyed onto the floor.
He’d nearly forgotten why he’d been squashed in there to begin with. But the smell of wine hung heavily in the air, and his gaze lit upon the glossy boots of the lord beyond the table legs.
Scorpius looked up at Richolf, but his master ignored him. Fear shot through Scorpius’ body, jolting him wide awake.
It couldn’t be safe to sit out in the open like this. He rose into a crouch, where he could now see the top of the nobleman’s head.
“A bloody insult,” Lord Zorjak slurred. “Swanning about. He's not the only one who's gathered a force behind him, and called them admirers.”
Scorpius crept forward over the stone floor, cool against his hands. His master had hidden him away in the cabinet when the men came. That was the safest place for Scorpius to be. He could almost feel the burning stare of the nobleman upon his back. It sent creeping shivers to grab at his neck, as though he’d already been caught out.
When he was nearly within reach of the open door, a goblet sailed over his head to clatter against the wall above the cabinet. Dark red wine splashed over Scorpius, dripping onto the floor, splattering the wall.
Richolf moved smoothly to retrieve the goblet, crouching to wipe up the red stains. His master's eyes were bright with alarm as he locked gazes with Scorpius. Richolf gave the slightest flick of his head toward the hiding place. Scorpius darted forward, folding himself into its airless embrace as Richolf wiped at the wall above.
The door clicked shut behind Scorpius as Richolf turned toward the drunk nobleman. “Does my lord require more wine?” he asked.
© Julia Smith, 2010
Naquillity says This continues to build with each installment. You've a great story unfolding and I'm pleased to be a reader along the way.
Alice Audrey says Yikes! What would happen if he were caught? I can't even imagine.
Janet says The image is so vivid - the fear they both emote - Richolf's subtle worry and affection for Scorpius! Well done, Julia :)