Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
This week the #sunscribbles Twitter prompt is Trap, so I wrote a story based on an MC from a work in progress who struggles to fight under pressure. It’s super short because I’m ill again!
Whirlwind of Thoughts
On my knees, in the dirt, with a bandit’s blade to my neck, I eye my fallen sword and wonder how it came to this.
I’m not a bad person: I help my mother around the farm, I study sword-fighting whenever she asks, the dutiful son, but I never get it right when it matters.
When wolves stalk our livestock, or bandits raid our storehouses, I freeze. I know the moves better than I know myself, have practised them hundreds of times by the Lake of the Blessed, but when the stakes are high I can never decide which way to swing my sword.
My mind races. Can I win? Will I end up face down in the dirt? Should I move? Left? Right? Duck? Dive? Slide? Or stay still. Hold my ground and keep my guard up until my opponent drops theirs?
This time was no different. Trapped in the whirlwind of my thoughts, I did nothing. Only my assailant’s boot to my chest broke me free. I didn’t even see him move so close. I winced, dropped my sword, and he shoved me to my knees in front of storehouse two.
This never happens in practice, when we’re alone in the woods, my mother and me, but every time the situation gets serious my fighting skills flee like rats from a sinking ship, and I freeze, trapped in a vicious circle of thoughts, unable to break free until someone makes me.
She, my mother, is never far behind me during these attacks, and she drops my captor with practised ease. Three swift, decisive, movements is all it takes to dispatch the remaining bandits, and she turns to me, hand outstretched.
I help myself up, but I can’t meet her eyes. How could I after yet another failure? Instead I take in the sprawling fields of our farms and pretend I’m looking for more bandits.
She cups my cheek and turns my face towards hers. Disappointment flashes in her eyes, but it’s quickly hidden. I clench my jaw, but dread the day she’s not here to bail me out: The day someone gets hurt because of me. Because as much as I want to change, I don’t know how.
Thanks for reading!
I nearly participated in Nanowrimo at last minute, but I know I don’t have time and my outline isn’t finished yet so this short insight into Arthur’s world will have to do. The actual novel will be in third person, so I don’t know why I keep writing in first!
Share lines with #sunscribbles every week on Twitter, or write a short story based around the prompt and share a blog link.
Next week? A review post of books and TV shows, where I rant about Titans and revel in the world of Faerie!