Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Battle of the Standing Stones

                Sir Rodney stood at the edge of the woods. He gazed into the clearing, his eyes taking in every detail of the low hill. The grass was knee high and very green. At the top of the hill, stones were arrayed in a circle around the peak. This circle of stones was a sacred place to Sir Rodney. It was where his mother and father had exchanged vows, and where his father’s funeral pyre had been built. And today, it was where he would finally bring honor back to his family’s name.
                On the far side of the hill, he knew another man waited on the edge of the woods. Sir Malcom, though he did not deserve the title. The scallywag had murdered his father and laid the blame at Sir Rodney’s feet. He had been tried as a kinslayer, and though he had not been found guilty, the shame had driven him from his home. Malcom then took his father’s land and his ancestral home. Today, Sir Rodney had returned to his home, to this sacred hill. Today he would finally see justice.
                Sir Rodney strode out into the sunlight. He drew his sword as he walked up the hill. The cool weight of the hilt felt good in his hands. As he reached the top, he saw a flutter of purple and knew that Sir Malcom was making his way out of the woods as well. The other knight already had his sword drawn. Sir Malcom approached without a word. When he reached the opposite edge of the stone circle, he paused, looking at Sir Rodney with eyes black with hate and disdain. Sir Rodney raised his blade to a defensive position, and began a slow advance towards his mortal enemy.
                The two circled each other for several moments. Then Sir Malcom brought his sword up above his head, and then down with a vicious slash aimed at Rodney’s left arm. Sir Rodney deflected the blow with the edge of his blade and countered with a quick slash at his foe’s shoulder. Malcom stepped to the side, and Sir Rodney’s blade met only air. Malcom’s next blow was aimed at Rodney’s legs. Always his weakest point, Sir Rodney jumped back and brought his sword down to protect his legs. This caused him to be slightly off balance, and though he did block the initial blow, Malcom had time to bring his sword around, and cut deeply into Rodney’s left arm.
                Rodney cried out as fire shot up his arm. He could no longer hold his sword with both hands, so he shifted his left foot behind him, and held his sword in front of him, now with only his right hand. The smirk on Sir Malcom’s face was premature, however, as Sir Rodney pushed off with his left foot, and delivered a fast and deep thrust to the smirking knight’s thigh. He fell to his knees and screamed his surprise and rage. Sir Rodney jumped back out of reach. The two glared at each other, catching their breath. After a moment, Sir Rodney took a deep breath, and his face hardened. The muscles in his legs knotted and propelled him in a mighty lunge at his enemy. Sir Malcom brought up his sword to deflect the thrust, but Sir Rodney was already pulling his sword up and over that of Sir Malcom. He danced to one side and past Sir Malcom, bringing his sword down behind him. His blade cut deeply into Sir Malcom’s back. His father’s killer gurgled, and fell slowly onto his face. Dead.


                John turned around and laughed. “Now that was a good round!”
                Steve rolled over, his “sword” lying on the ground next to him. It was a PVC pipe with foam glued to it forming a “blade” and tape wrapped around the base forming a “hilt.” “I thought I had you at the end there!”
                John held out his hand and helped Steve to his feet. The two walked to one edge of the stone circle, and sat down to rest.
After five minutes or so, John picked up his sword. “Shall we go again?”
“But of course, good sir!” Steve shouted in a bad imitation of a British accent.
Steve walked over to where he had left his sword on the ground, and the two walked back to opposite edges of the stone circle. They saluted each other with their blades of foam, and began to circle once more.

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