Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Writer's Retreat - 12








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.


Scene 12

When the nobleman had finally drunk his fill, his chin tucking low on his chest, Richolf opened the door and motioned to the weary guard without. They filed inside, wordlessly lifting their master from the chair to settle him insensible on Richolf’s bed.

With a loosening of neck cloths and buckles, Lord Zorjak’s men found places around the falconer’s table. Richolf fed them all, pouring ale this time as Scorpius watched through the woven panel screen that served as the cabinet doors. His stomach growled, but his master had made no move to let him out of his sanctuary. Best stay put.

Eventually, it was decided that two of the guard would wrap the body and haul it towards the pillar rock. The others would wait for their master to restore himself. How odd that the men assigned to the more grisly task seemed relieved.

Scorpius stared intently at one of the guard in particular, pressing his eye close to the tiny holes so he could see better. Had Richolf failed to explain about the dragon?

The cabinet door cracked open without warning. A boiled root tumbled into the darkness beside him even as Scorpius’ heart leaped into his throat. The door shut and his view of the table was blocked entirely.

He listened as plans were agreed upon and the two groups collected their gear to make ready. Whoever stood before the cabinet did not budge. Scorpius sat in complete darkness, the scent of the root filling the tiny space. He felt about blindly until his fingers hit upon the cooled root skin, his guts rejoicing noisily.

Scorpius raised it to his mouth, his teeth sinking greedily into the rich flesh. He’d never been overly fond of this type of root before. Strange how an evening in a cabinet could change things so drastically.

Satisfied for the time being, and with nothing to see through the blocked peepholes, Scorpius curled onto his side and closed his eyes. When he woke again, Richolf was pulling him out of the hiding place.

The men were gone. Lord Zorjak was gone. The body no longer lay outside the cottage.

Scorpius stood blearily before the open cabinet door as Richolf crouched before him, eye to eye. He cupped one roughened palm against Scorpius’ cheek, his tired gaze shining with pride. A warm happiness spread through Scorpius’ chest.

His master chucked him on the head and stood. “Let’s get this put away, now,” he said, turning to the cups and dishes littering the table and sideboard. Yawning, Scorpius collected the bowls and stumbled for the wash basin.

© Julia Smith, 2010

Apprentice Writer says Still really love the name Scorpius.

Alice Audrey says Those lords must be real pieces of work to be scarier than a carnivorous dragon.

Ann Pino says Nice wrap-up to the scene. I'm looking forward to where this is going - I have a feeling something big is coming soon.

7 comments:

M. said...

Hi Julia
Still really love the name Scorpius.

Skipped down to see some posts I'd missed, and was fascinated to read about your acupuncture journey. If you're ever in Toronto and need a treatement - my husband does acupuncture as part of his chiropractice practice and has likewise seen some amazing results.
But amazing as your results were, I was most touched to learn that you dear husband has been freed from some of his cyclical depression. How wonderful for you both.

Alice Audrey said...

Those lords must be real pieces of work to be scarier than a carnivorous dragon.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Nice wrap-up to the scene. I'm looking forward to where this is going - I have a feeling something big is coming soon.

Julia Smith said...

M - thank you so much! We're planning to be in Toronto over Christmas, and I'm really hoping we can get together then. I'd be happy to get a treatment from your husband - that would be so cool.

It really is amazing about Brad. He can't notice the differences the way my mom and I can. But he's doing SO much better.

Travis Cody said...

Interesting. This seems to be the first time Richolf has shown anything like affection for the boy.

Janet said...

Strange how an evening in a cabinet could change things so drastically.

This has so many meanings - layers upon layers woven into the fabric of Scorpius' brutal introduction to life as a servant. Things will not be the same after this night!

Wonderful piece of writing, Julia - loving Scorpius' backstory :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm intrigued by how passive a character Scorpius is, and how you manage to make us engage with him.