They fell back for the day, staying outside arrow range. We watched from the ramparts as they camped out in clear view, just waiting. I guessed that they would attack at dark once again, but wondered what their plan was. So far as I could tell they had no means of breaching the walls.
They ran forward with weapons bared, and we wearily readied ourselves for the attack. Men who could barely walk hefted heavy shields, drew their blades and stood ready to face the charge. I raised my blade to offer one last cheering cry to rouse them to battle, and my voice was joined by the groaning of the gates behind us.
We had built a makeshift wall of broken wagons and carts during the night, and stood behind them, our weapons at the ready. The Citadel cavalry roared at us, attempting to be intimidating as they beat their weapons against their shields. I was reminded of scenes in every epic movie I had ever watched, where a force that outnumbers them surrounds the heroes. Like in Zulu. The fierce enemy taunts the heroes, and then attacks. I set myself for the assault.
I found myself immersed in chaos. All around me were the sounds of battle, as men strived to kill each other with swords and spears and axes. The smell of burning canvas and flesh assaulted my nostrils, and I saw tents on fire. In the smoky light I could perceive the silhouettes of struggling soldiers.
An unexpected voice rang out in my darkened apartment, welcoming me home. I’d like to say that I kept my cool and responded calmly. But I can’t. I let out a yelp, which I sincerely hope was manly rather than the girlish shriek I’m afraid it was, and jumped.
“I hope I didn’t startle you, Mr. Franklin, showing up uninvited, but I felt discretion was necessary.”
A tall man with black hair was sitting comfortably in my favourite lounge chair, one foot resting on the opposite knee. He smiled warmly.
Matt the Pimp and I made our way through the underground gambling establishment owned by the mysterious mob boss known as the Squid. As we walked, I discovered I had a question.
“The Squid said something interesting. He said no one in this town does anything without working with him, or my dad. What did he mean, exactly? This town?”
Matt stared at me, but he didn’t have time to formulate a response to my seemingly random comment. We were interrupted.
“Good evening, Mr. Franklin, so good of you to come!”
We were in an office, or more like a den. Leather chairs, red carpeting, dim lighting, a bar. An old man sat behind a big desk, lounging as he sipped a drink.
“My reputation precedes me,” I said, wondering who on earth this could be.
Submitted by G.S. Williams on Mon, 10/20/2008 - 15:55
It's been awhile since I've put anything personal (ie Blog-worthy) on the Internet dealy here. So, what can I say?
The baby is doing well -- a strong boy, he has gained 3.5 pounds in 6 weeks, and is smiling at us a lot. His brother and sister adore him. My daughter loves kindergarten, and is also taking swimming and ballet lessons. She's having the time of her life. My first son is learning how to talk more and more each day, and said "Aurora" while watching Sleeping Beauty with his sister.
The crowd broke out in raucous cheers. Apparently, they changed sides quickly. This supported my theory that they didn’t care who got beat up, so long as someone did. I ignored them, and leaned against my corner. For one thing, I wasn’t here as entertainment. For another, they’d seen enough showboating from Bloody-Nose Jones.
“That wasn’t bad,” the oily fellow at ringside said from the apron. “You ready for the champ?”
A tired sentry yawned on the ramparts of the city, leaning against his spear. He itched his cheek and rubbed his eyes. There was no duty more boring than night watch. You couldn’t even see anything, for God’s sake! Clouds covered the moon.