Monday, December 16, 2013

A Clip from Alexander

     Alexander is the working title of one of my auxiliary projects.  I have had this story rolling around in my head for years, and it has yet to safely make it out onto paper.  The central plot never changes -- it is fixed in my mind as securely as if it were true -- but the manner of telling the tale changes each year.  And, because of that, I have not gotten very far in the transfer from brain to document.  Nevertheless, below is part of a scene from Alexander for you to enjoy and comment on:

"...The soldiers handed out a few bruises and bloody noses among your remaining tenants, but nothing serious.  There’s a reward out for your head,” Nathaniel recounted.

     “What of my men?” Alexander asked.

      “Edward will send his warnings to them soon, I am sure,” Nathaniel said.  “I reached all of the leaders in this area.  Caphogen and Rinton are cautious.  They are loyal to Henrique’s line and will likely side against you as a rogue general if it helps them serve Edward.  Testope and Vonklin will seek to remain neutral – on your side but never openly.”

     “Down with the neutral cowards!” exclaimed Heathon, one of the men with Nathaniel.  “We will overthrow them along with Edward, the double-minded brutes!”

     “Here!  Here!” cheered two other men.  “Long live Alexander!”

     “No!” Alexander spoke the word only once but forcefully.  “No man under my command will harm the son of Henrique.”

     “But Alexander…he is nothing like his father.  For the good of the country, he does not deserve to reign,” one of the cheering men protested.

     “Maybe he was switched at birth,” suggested a wry voice, somewhere in the crowd.

     An appreciative laugh went up from several of the men at that statement.

     “Alexander, we risked our lives, our homes, our families for you.  We want that to mean something.  Do not let us down,” argued the other of the cheering men.

     “I do not seek the throne.  Edward will reign as king.  I and my men will seek refuge in the forest for as long as needed,” Alexander stated.

     Heathon spat on the ground.  “Then you are a coward, too, Alexander,” he said, accusingly.

     One of the men, a burly sort of man, pulled a long knife from his belt and jammed it under Heathon’s neck, only a hair’s breadth from his skin.  “No man calls Alexander a coward on my watch,” he growled.

     “Stay your blade, Quince,” Alexander ordered.

     “There’s nothing Alexander can do,” another man spoke up, mulling over the situation.  “He’s tied his hands.  He won’t dethrone Edward, and Edward will do everything in his power to kill Alexander.  There’s nothing Alexander can do but hide.”

     “So, what do you want of us,” another man queried, with one eye on Quince as the burly man slowly re-sheathed his knife.

     Heathon rubbed his neck ruefully and made a face at no one in particular.

     “I am with Alexander,” Nathaniel swore.  He looked disdainfully at Heathon.  “You say that he is great enough to be king – and he is – and then you proceed to tell him how to do it your way.  Who is it that you want to lead here?  If he is that great, then he knows what he is doing now.”

     Heathon pointed a grubby finger at Nathaniel.  “Well, I didn’t sign up to hide for the rest of my life,” he hissed.  “We either change the world or I’m going home!”  He punctuated his sentence with a final jab of his finger, spat again, and stalked away, shoving other men out of his way as he went.

     “So, what do you want of us,” came the repeated query from one of the men.

     “Serve Edward if you can," Alexander answered.  "If not, every one of you is welcome to join me.  But I warn you my life will not be easy.”

     A young man stepped forward.  “I’ve followed you in battle.  I will follow you anywhere, even here.  I’m with you, Alexander,” he said...

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