Saturday, 20 July 2013

Writing A Bit...

I think you all know by now that I tend to write about what I know (which I know, isn't very much - oh be belittled himself again), and as such the world of Palurin came about. For those of you who don't know, Palurin is my fantasy realm where epic adventures happen to all my characters, and not all have happily-ever-afters. They're not that sort of story/plot/narrative. Something things happen to my characters to build them up, and make them seem more normal than fantastical, and somethings happen to them that need to happen to drive the story forward, and the inevitable end I foresee for them all. 

However, there is also one other aspect about my characters that most people don't know. They're all based on real people I know. Some characters I enjoy writing, and I don't get to speak with or see the person they're based on for a very long time, and other characters I don't really like writing even though I know the real person and I know they wouldn't do half the things their character does. But there is one thing I can assure you, you do have a character, and they are living in my world, the world I created when I was eight, and the one I occasionally visit, though not as often as I'd like, and you've only made it there because you're significant to me, or you used to be. I'm sure you can put the pieces together, I've even posted some of them to Apprentice, Lamia, Culling, and Prey being just a few (guess who they're about if you can).

But something in the week got me thinking about a new character. So please bare with me, and let me know what you think. It is only a first draft after all...

Carpe diem...

‘From a seafaring shore, far in the stormy northern waves, a tyrant rides the white horses they say.’ The tavern was a quiet place. A storm raged outside, and all decent folk had retreated to their homes. The odd traveller had sought refuge in the tavern, but not many, and none of them cared to hear a story from a drunken sailor. Though, he had spiked the curiosity of the barmaid who wiped down the table next to him.
‘Do they now?’ she asked, standing upright again. The drunken man turned to face the maid he hadn’t seen before, and threw all his attention on her.
‘Yes they do. The Red Captain sailing his Crimson Tabby, a fearless vessel; plundered a thousand ships, and pillaged a hundred villages, the bane of Elledjhon himself.’
‘One ship the bane of an Empire?’ The maid pressed for more details, allowing the rag in her hand to drip freely on the floor and slowly dry.
‘Oh yes, the Red Captain and his crew, daringly defiant in the face of death. They’ve fought off a dozen ships, some of the Elledjhon’s fleet, and sank them all. No survivors.’
‘So how do you know any of this is there weren’t survivors?’ the girl was quick witted and saw a lie when she was told one. His bloodshot eyes darted from her elegant blue ones like an untouched pool of sapphires caught in the sunlight.
‘Well, some say don’t they?’ the sailor busied himself finishing his pint.
‘They’re just stories you mean?’
‘Stories I’ve heard!’ he raised his voice and slammed his glass down on the table. ‘Stories I’ve had to prepare myself for.’ He grabbed the barmaid by her petticoat and dragged her closer to him. He looked her square in the eyes, baring his yellowing teeth in a menacing grin. ‘The entire fifth fleet has been ordered to search the northern waters and to eliminate the Crimson Tabby, and kill that bastard of a Captain and his crew at all costs,’ he said through gritted teeth. ‘I am a crewman of the Strand, the flagship of the fifth, and I am scared.’ There was no fear in his eyes or voice, only distrust and fatigue. His grip didn’t loosen.
‘I’ve got to get back to work,’ she said innocently, but as she pulled away he pulled back. He moved his face closer to hers.
‘Won’t you comfort this sailor, ready to greet death at sea, before his last voyage?’ he forced his lips on hers. He tasted of rot and rum, like a back street dentist. She tried to raise a hand to him, but was stopped by his tanned forearm. There was barely any movement in the struggle, and no one noticed the commotion. All she needed to do was scream, but she didn’t. ‘You forget your place lass, it’s beneath a man.’
‘No sir, you’re wrong,’ she said calmly within his vice-like grip around her throat. Her rosen cheeks turned a redder shade. One arm clenched her fist, and his other started to fondle the folds of her dress.
She jolted, loosening his grip on her arm. Her hair, the shade of a sun sweetened cherry in the height of summer, swayed from its tidy bun until it dangled neatly by her shoulders. The movement was that of an instant, but the man ceased his actions. She had removed the dagger he kept upon his belt, and was pressing it against the soft flesh below his belt. She freed her arms and her dress, and stood above him. ‘You sir, are wrong.’ He looked at her confused. ‘It is you, who is beneath this woman.’ He flinched as she pressed the blade harder into his flesh until a little blood showed. ‘You have options, sir. You can run from here and join your fleet to die at sea, or I can kill you now. Either way, you die.’ She grinned a pleasant smile waiting for his response. It did not take long.
‘The fleet,’ he replied with a quivering voice. She removed the knife from his flesh and cleaned it on her petticoat. The man stood up, and wobbled. There was a thought tingling at the forefront of his mind, the barmaid could see it, working its way to his mouth. The man walked a few steps away from her before turning.
‘What makes you so sure that the fleet will fail?’ The woman sighed, facing him again. She threw the blade at the man and he fell backwards to the floor with a scream. The knife protruded from his right shoulder. The other travellers in the tavern took note of the next encounter. They were her witnesses. And none of them were heroic enough to intervene. The barmaid walked over the man who was shouting profanities at her. A sweat had come over him, and blood oozed onto the floor from his shoulder. She pressed a foot onto his right hand causing more screams and more terror.
‘I am so sure, because I shall take my ship, and my crew, and I shall eradicate the very existence of the fifth fleet from my waters. Understood?’ There was real fear in the man's eyes as he looked back at her. He saw her for who she was, he had seen death, he had seen the Red Captain.

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