Saturday, October 3, 2015

Angusel makes a friend in RAGING SEA Ch 7/Sc 5A #amwriting #Arthurverse

Graphic overlay (c)2015 by Kim Headlee.
"Tests, enemies, and allies" is what mythologist Joseph Campbell labeled the early action phase of the Hero's Journey. 

Enemies and Allies is what I plan to title Raging Sea part 2 for its Kindle run. 

In this phase the hero undergoes a series of tests, through the process of discovering enemies and making allies, that forge his character to prepare him for the far more challenging, life-threatening events to come. 

No journey of self discovery can be completed without enduring this phase, and in this Angusel—a.k.a. Lancelot—is no different than any other fledgling hero.

Today's excerpt features the onstage introduction of a character only mentioned in Dawnflight, Drustanus—or Tristan, as he is known to legend. The friendship Lancelot develops with Tristan is second only to that of Gawain, and that relationship gets its rather fragrant start here in Raging Sea.

Previous excerpts of Raging Sea 
 Chapter 7: Sc 1 | Sc 2 | Sc 3 | Sc 4 |

Raging Sea Chapter 7, Scene 5a
©2015 by Kim Headlee
All rights reserved.

Angusel, clad in a clean tunic beneath his practice gear after having discovered that the one he’d planned to wear had been fouled by one of the stray cats that lived behind the barracks—the fouling thanks to someone in his ala, no doubt—hefted Stonn’s saddle and bridle off their pegs in the tack room and hustled toward the stables. With any luck, he could make up the time he’d lost by having to change clothes, and avoid being late for the drill session. Tardiness was punished by three stripes, regardless of the reason’s validity.

“Damn!” came a muffled outburst from inside one of the stalls down the line, followed by a wet thud and ungodly clatter.

Clenching his teeth, Angusel quickened his pace. Though the marks left by his latest punishment had healed, its memory hadn’t.

Frustrated pounding sounded against the stall’s walls as Angusel drew closer, along with a string of Breatanach oaths. One of the cavalry squad’s stable hands, he guessed, had fallen victim of a soldier’s prank inside one of the stalls.

The stall was Stonn’s.

Battle-frenzy boiled up inside him. He dropped the tack and sprinted to assist the unfortunate soul.

He didn’t have to kill anybody this day, thanks be to all the gods. Stonn was fine, mouthing wisps of hay and gazing at Angusel as if to ask what all the fuss was about. The same could not be said for the young man who sat in the muck, his pitchfork all but buried beside him. He was covered from the crown down with even more of the disgusting stuff. Angusel wondered at the strangeness of that, until he glanced up and saw the tilted bucket, still dripping gooey gray-green ooze, which had been perched above the stall’s door.

That muck bucket had been meant for Angusel.

He clamped off his anger, entered the stall, and thrust his hand out. “I’m so sorry,” he said in Breatanaiche. The lad looked at Angusel’s hand as if it were an alien thing. “Come, let me help you.”

“You, sir? You’re an officer. Why should you bother with the likes of me?”

“Nobody deserves this.” He brandished his hand again. “Must I make it an order? And don’t call me sir. I may be an officer, but only just.”

“Yes—Optio?” The young man grasped Angusel’s forearm and hauled himself up. Angusel shook his head. “What, then?”

“What the duty roster reads, Ainchis Sal. And your name is—?”

“Drustanus.” He retrieved his pitchfork. Together they left the stall but paused at the pile of discarded tack. “I’ll put away Stonn’s gear and clean his stall for you after, well . . . after I’m not part of the problem.” The promise was delivered with a rueful grin.

“Drustanus—Centurion Marcus’s nephew?” Angusel had failed to recognize him under the filth. “You should be in the ala too; we’re of an age, you and I, and you look plenty strong. What did you do to draw this thankless duty?”

Drustanus shrugged and peeled off the tunic, which had begun to dry. The action showered the ground with smelly bits, revealing a muscular chest that confirmed Angusel’s assessment. “Uncle Marcus says I should earn my place based on my own merits, not upon family connections.”

Angusel gave a noncommittal grunt. He’d lived in the Pendragon’s legion long enough to keep his opinions about the decisions of his superiors to himself. However, that didn’t mean he couldn’t attempt to influence changing some of those decisions.

“I’ll see you in the old training ring after supper.” His choice was dictated by the likelihood of their not being seen; no sense in running the risk of angering a superior who stood many ranks higher, even if the officer was Drustanus’s kin. “Borrow a practice sword from the armory, and tell the soldier on duty that I ordered it.” Another idea formed. “And let me have your tunic.”

“What? Like this?” Drustanus held it out by a muck-free patch of fabric, the garment pinched between thumb and forefinger.

Angusel snatched it from him. “This should help me settle some . . . other business. Now, go visit the baths and don fresh clothes. I expect Stonn’s tack oiled and his stall to be spotless before afternoon drills are done.”

Drustanus grinned and saluted. “Yes, sir!” The grin widened. “Sorry—Ainchis Sal!”

Angusel felt his answering grin form as he watched his new friend hurry off to fulfill the commands.


All this month, you are invited to...
— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Follow Kim on Pinterest
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow
...and each action this month is good for one chance to win an e-book copy of Morning's Journey. Please enter often, and good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Scribble a note on the wall of the Maze so you can find your way out again... ;-)