Ninety Degrees of Fortune Pt. 3 – 5

4 02 2010

The next 3 installments continue along the same six-sentence constraint as the previous 2.

Pt.3: Excommunication

Above the heads of the trembling guards blocking his path, Raverus saw the shanty village where the former Inlanders had taken up residence. The villagers–his wife among them–were gathered behind the Guardsmen to witness what threatened to be quite a spectacle.

As Chief Watchman of the Three Genies, Raverus was proudly famed for his superhuman might and inhuman mercilessness. But seeing his own soldiers amassed in ad hoc armor–slate and cookware mostly–and all of the fearful faces of the villagers–his friends days before–so enfeebled him that his hand dove limply from his sword with the gravity of the pit in his stomach.

He raised his hands in the air and offered a truce, but they would field no compromise and forgive no fault. Without their standard armor and weaponry, he could’ve fought them all and won, they knew it too, but their traitorous revolt had drained him of his fight, for now.

Pt.4: The Prostrate

Rendered virtually naked by his sudden expulsion from the camp, Raverus wandered the chill desert night until he found himself surrounded by the men riding on what had very recently been his soldiers’ horses, armed with weapons from the Emperor’s arsenal–his arsenal.

“The Emperor wishes to see you,” said the man wearing Raverus’ helmet, as the others inched toward their captive with the business end of their weapons, emphasizing that the invitation was not optional.

When they arrived at the palace, Raverus in shackles and his sword absconded by the guards, the young Emperor rushed to the warrior and wrapped his arms around his knees. The boy Emperor rambled on excitedly about something to do with famine, questions about the land, the structures, the weapons; the Outland dialect was very choppy and Raverus struggled to follow.

His astonishment at the young man’s blind, ignorant gumption–to even imagine Raverus would consider helping the thieving little snot or his people–melted into
rage as he assembled the facts: these soldiers who had brought him in hadn’t eaten in several days. Raverus swiped his sword from the hunger-stricken guardsman and claimed the heads of the closest three men, ensuring that its skill had not been diminished by captivity. He aimed his blade at the Emperor for several moments before choosing to save himself the trouble; these people were suffering plenty.

Part 5: Enemy to Your Enemy

Raverus had been a celebrity in the Inlands; the Chief Watchman of the palace was the man charged with the proud duty of defending the Emperor’s sacred artifacts, namely the Three Genies. And for his failure to fulfill that honor, his own people, banished from their kingdom into the Outlands, had banished him from their makeshift village.

The Emperor had reached the throne through a tunnel of good intentions and idealism, with one single wish, but looking back from the seat he could see no light. His people were as unfamiliar with the conditions of the Inlands as Raverus’ people were those of the Outlands, and in a very short time Inland and Outland would all be the same: dead as the dirt.

A change must bring them together, thought the man with no land, as his fingers massaged the handle of his sword with a brilliantly terrible suggestion. Raverus had often boasted that it would take two of the Outlanders’ armies to defeat him; now, he would create the opportunity to test that theory.



7 01 2010
Intro: Roughly 300 words based on a concept I’m tinkering with. Pretty experimental, but I had fun writing it.

Reggie runt down them stairs hollerin’ like a lil’ sissy. Made Billy jump in the air and drop ‘is cigarette. He run out that den to the stairs, like he was on fire. You’da thought sombody’d done chopped half their heads off.

Jamie didn’t come back down with Reg and that made Billy shake.

“Issa ghost up there, Billy. They done got Jamie!”

Billy looked at ‘im real stupid. “No such thang as ghosts, y’dumb bastard!” Billy was lyin’ his ass off. You know good ‘n damn well everybody believes in ghosts. He ain’t special.

Jamie hollered out, real loud from upstairs. Billy an’ Reggie got so scared they was practic’ly holdin’ each other. Just a shakin’.

They took to arguin’ over what they oughtta do. Finally, Reggie goes, “Hell, if you ain’t scared, you go on up an’ check it out!”

Billy was scared as he ever been. His soul was real sick, real guilty. He didn’t wanna see what was up them stairs.

Little while arguin’ at it, they decide they was both goin’ up. So, they’s holdin’ real close an’ shinin’ their lil’ lights an’ all. Jumpin an’ squeakin’ whenever they hear somethin’.

“Jamie! Jamie, come on out, now!” They was yellin’.

When they saw Jamie’s ghost walkin’ cross top them stairs, them boys was ready to haul ass! But Billy’d done forgot all about that cigarette, an’ fire goes quick through them ol’ houses.

I might oughtta feel bad, I reckon. But I told them. I swear, I told them boys straight out. “Y’all sumbitches leave me here to die, I will haunt you!”

An’ they went an’ runt off. Now, if there’s four o’ ya and you see a lil’ bitty foreign fella come out a liquor store with a double-barrel, he empties two shells into your buddy… Well, hell you might reckon “He only had two shots, let’s go back an’ get Lyle ‘stead o’ leavin’ ‘im there on the sidewalk outside the package store just a bleedin’ and hollerin’ at us.”

So, them sumbitches is with me now. Cause that’s whatcha do, ya go back for friends.

Clarity of Night Short Story Contest

7 01 2010

Check this out.

And here’s my submission:In the Shadows on the Lake and there are many other great entries to check out as well.